Top health officials across Simcoe County continue to keep a close eye on the recent uptick in Ontario cases, as a second wave moves across the province.

At Soldiers Memorial, President and CEO Carmine Stumpo says it's attempting to build on lessons learned from the first wave while recognizing its weaknesses if a growth in cases should occur.

"There will be a limit to what the hospital can do to respond to an increasing demand in in-patient capacity," says Stumpo.

Stumpo is concerned about having enough clinical staff to make it through the second wave, but admits the hospital has been recruiting "non-stop to fill positions to staff up; however everyone essentially is doing that," says Stumpo.

The first wave highlighted the limitations of an older hospital built before single rooms to contain infection. Stumpo explains that they’re working with long term care homes and community agencies to help relieve pressure. But soldiers Memorial may have to adjust to make its limited space work.

"Bringing patients that have similar illness together, which is definitely not ideal, but it's something we need to consider," says Stumpo.

"Closing one bed to create private rooms, which has a huge impact on our capacity."

Meanwhile, in Barrie, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre President and CEO Janice Skot says it's been working towards addressing the backlog of surgical procedures since the first wave

RVH was reduced to just four operating rooms during the spring, but since the beginning of September, it's reopened all eleven suites, and it even completed the first outpatient hip and shoulder surgical procedures, freeing up more beds at the hospital.

"We have increased our capacity plan to an additional 120 beds in case there's that need in the region, including our pandemic response unit, which is a 70-bed field hospital."

RVH has 50 ventilators on-site to address the needs of those more acutely ill possible COVID-19 patients.