'Tremendous amount of pressure' on hospitals, Summers uncertain when curve will flatten
A surge in COVID-19 cases combined with a shortage of health care workers has hospitals across Ontario are in crisis mode.
Dr. Joyce Lock, Southwestern Public Health’s medical officer of health told reporters on Wednesday, “It is overwhelming, our health care system is trying to manage the large number of people who are requiring hospitalizations.”
There are currently 509 staff members at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) who have tested positive for COVID-19.
With the return to in-person learning next week, the number of hospital staff unable to work could rise even further.
“We do have a robust return-to-work process in place to get people back working as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Adam Dukelow, the interim executive VP and Chief Medical Officer with LHSC. “Either way, we’re prepared to staff our wards and make sure people are getting taken care of.”
Other hospitals in Southwestern Ontario are also trying to manage with fewer physicians and nurses on the ground.
On Wednesday, Perry Lang, CEO of the Woodstock Hospital, said, “There’s 92 staff off with either COVID or they have been identified as high risk of contact and are waiting for test results.”
On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Alex Summers, the acting medical officer of health for the Middlesex London Health Unit said projections around when the curve will flatten are uncertain, however, he believes we are likely at the peak.
“In other jurisdictions that Omicron has hit, the wave peaked very quickly and then declined very quickly,” said Summers. “Our hospitals are facing a tremendous amount of pressure.”
With provincial public health measures in place, Summers said we could see the curve flatten once hospitalizations also start to decline.