COVID-19: Ontario hospitals ramp down elective surgeries to increase ICU capacity

WATCH ABOVE: Doctors say staff shortages in Ontario ICUs continue as COVID-19 admissions climb. Katherine Ward reports.

Ontario hospitals will start ramping down elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures today to ensure they have the capacity to treat more COVID-19 patients.

The province reported on Sunday that 605 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units across Ontario.

The government also said there were 4,456 new COVID-19 cases in the province on Sunday, marking a single-day high for new infections.

Read more:
Ontario hospitals told to ‘ramp down’ all elective, non-emergency surgeries due to COVID-19

Hospitals in northern Ontario are exempt from cancelling non-urgent procedures but a memo from Ontario Health last week said they should prepare to ramp down quickly in the near future.

The memo also asked hospitals to identify staff who may be redeployed to other sites if necessary.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford is set to make an announcement later today with Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

The announcement comes on the first day of a postponed spring break for schools.

Ford said last week that education workers who live or are employed in hot spot neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel Region will be eligible for vaccines starting this week, with plans to expand to other hard-hit areas as supply allows.

The government is also expanding availability of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 55 and over this week.

Read more:
Ontario reports record number of new coronavirus cases

With an additional 700 pharmacies offering the vaccine, more than 1,400 locations will offer inoculation, with the province expecting to add another 100 pharmacies by the end of April.

In Toronto, the city is opening three more COVID-19 vaccination clinics _ in the Cloverdale Mall, the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre and the Carmine Stefano Community Centre.

Toronto residents born in 1961 or earlier, or who are at least 50 years old and live in a hot spot neighbourhood, can book a shot at one of the city-run clinics by phone or internet.

Officials say 758,882 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Toronto so far.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

You May Also Like

Top Stories