Province Asks Hospitals to Prepare for Surge


Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) is slightly ahead of the game when it comes to the province's latest request.

A surge in COVID-19 cases across the province, including Windsor-Essex,  has prompted the Ontario government to ask hospitals to prepare to use their surge capacity within 48 hours. 

WRH President and CEO, David Musyj, says what the province has requested is consistent with what the organization has already put into place.

"Effective Monday, where we had to unfortunately reduce some of our elective surgeries in order to create that capacity to deal with not only our existing capacity issues, but also to be prepared for what's coming," says Musyj.

He says they're expecting more people to have to be hospitalized based on the number of cases currently in Windsor-Essex, adding "We're seeing every day, two to three more admissions of COVID positive patients," he says. "So everyday, it's gone up by two or three patients a day."

Musyj says they're already planning for if they need to make more beds available, beyond what has already been done.

"Then we'll have to reduce even more elective surgeries, we've kept some but we might have to reduce more," he says. "Then the next issue will be if we need hospital human resources,  meaning we need staff to help support things like say the field hospital and then we'll have to look at possibly reducing day surgeries.'

Ontario Health, which co-ordinates several agencies in the province's health-care system asks hospitals in the province's lockdown and red zones to ensure they have at least 10 to 15 per cent surge capacity for adult COVID-19 patients.

According to Ontario Health, the actions the hospitals take in the next days and weeks will dictate their ability to meet "escalating and anticipated" capacity demands.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced 113 new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex on Wednesday with 57 people in the hospital, 12 of which are in the ICU.


— With files from AM800's Gord Bacon & The Canadian Press