Ontario Health tells hospitals to be ready to accept COVID-19 patients from hardest-hit areas

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Ontario hospitals are now being asked to prepare to accept COVID-19 patients from across the province as the number of cases increases and intensive care space reaches capacity.

Ontario Health President and CEO Matthew Anderson called Thursday while outlining the steps hospitals must take “immediately” to provide care to all patients in the province, whether or not they are infected with the disease. the new coronavirus.

“To meet these needs, we must continue to do more to work as a single, cohesive hospital system,” Anderson wrote in a note obtained by CTV News Toronto.

Anderson said hospitals with unoccupied adult intensive care beds must reserve about a third of their space for transfers from other hospitals that exceed their own capacity, regardless of where that patient is being treated at. origin.

“This includes accepting patients from other hospitals in and outside your regions, sharing resources and setting priorities – so we can continue to provide safe and effective care to COVID-19 patients.” and not COVID-19 across the province.

The note adds that Ontario Health is working with the Ontario Intensive Care COVID-19 Command Center to provide hospitals with instructions on which beds should be reserved.

Additionally, the memo specifies that hospitals in community transmission areas should have a plan in place to “appropriately postpone non-emergency care, if necessary.”

Facilities in these regions are instructed to continue all non-COVID-19 surgical, procedural and other in-person care “without delay” if deemed urgent.

As of Thursday, there was a record 1,472 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals. Among these patients, 363 are treated in intensive care.

The province has long said that when there are more than 300 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, medical care unrelated to the disease becomes almost impossible to manage.

According to Anderson, the province will see more than 500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care by January 24 and more than 1,700 hospitalizations.

“We have to work as a provincial system at a level never required before,” Anderson wrote.

“What we do together over the next few days and weeks will pave the way for our ability to meet growing and anticipated demands for hospital capacity.”

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