Dec 16, 2020
By Jane Brown
The news around COVID-19 on Wednesday is all about numbers; the record high number of new daily COVID cases in Ontario and Toronto, and the surging numbers of COVID patients in the province’s hospitals.
“These numbers are very very alarming, if you look at not just the case counts which are alarming, you look at the death toll, you look at ICU occupancy, you look at the fact the hospitals are going into a mode where there are going to be people turned away for the other kinds of treatment that they need. This is a serious situation,” Toronto Mayor John Tory warned on Wednesday.
The mayor’s comments come after hospital CEOs in the lockdown and red control levels of Ontario have been ordered to brace for a spike in COVID-19 patients.
They’ve been told in a memo by Ontario Health President Matt Anderson to ensure at least 10 to 15 percent surge capacity within 48 hours to support efforts across the regions.
According to the government’s COVID website, there are 921 patients in hospital with the virus. Of those, 249 are in intensive care, while 156 are on ventilators.
“This pandemic is clearly rapidly accelerating and I’ve never been as concerned as I am now, about capacity of our hospital system,” says Ontario Hospital Association CEO Anthony Dale, who
admits if there’s a wave of hospitalizations after the holidays, acute care and other services will be disrupted in the new year.
Dale says in response, an emergency meeting of the OHA’s board of directors will be held Wednesday to discuss the imminent risk of overwhelming conditions at the province’s hospitals due to COVID-19.