Third COVID Wave Will Lead to Difficult Weeks Ahead for Ontario Hospitals: OHA

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The president of the Ontario Hospital Association says the province could face a new surge in patient transfers and cancelled surgeries as it deals with the third wave of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead.

Anthony Dale says if the trend of increasing patient numbers arriving in the province's hospitals continues, it will further strain capacity.

Dale says that will lead to patient transfers running "24-7" to ensure they receive life-saving care and additional cancelled surgeries will be added to the current backlog of 250,000 procedures.

He says intensive care units across Ontario are seeing younger patients, with more severe cases of COVID-19, which is straining the system.

Ontario reported Monday that 409 patients with COVID-19 are in hospital ICUs, with nearly half the patients in the region around Toronto on ventilators.

Dale warned that the pandemic is not over, despite more widespread availability of vaccines, and stressed that people must follow public health measures.