Grey Bruce Health Services has 16 COVID-positive patients in hospital, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. There are 10 patients admitted with COVID who are being treated for their symptoms, and three of those patients are in ICU on ventilators. Six other patients were admitted for other health reasons, and are positive for COVID-19.
“In previous waves of the pandemic, we accepted patients from Manitoba and the GTA, and now we are faced with transferring patients out of hospital,” said Gary Sims, GBHS President & CEO. “We are over capacity almost daily, and our staff and physicians are doing an amazing job under increasingly challenging circumstances.”
The level of care required for ICU patients with COVID-19 is resource intense, at a time when staff absenteeism is high, and capacity is strained. All patients who are positive for the virus are treated in isolation rooms with stringent infection control measures in place. Those who are critically ill require a full team of 24/7 support from staff and physicians, and can be hospitalized for several weeks. With 11 Grey Bruce retirement/long-term care homes reporting an outbreak, hospitalized patients waiting to return to these facilities cannot be discharged, which adds to overcapacity issues across GBHS.
As announced recently, GBHS has reduced visiting to essential care-givers only, and elective surgeries and procedures have been postponed to conserve human resource and bed capacity within hospital.
“We know those who are fully vaccinated are less likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID, and are at less risk of becoming seriously ill compared to those who are unvaccinated,” said Sims. “We are asking everyone to get fully vaccinated to reduce the pressure on our hospital system, and to help alleviate the strain on our staff and physicians.”