Mar 30, 2021

By Jane Brown

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There is a new warning from the president of the Ontario Hospital Association for a new surge in patient transfers and cancelled surgeries in the third wave of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead.

Anthony Dale says if the trend of increasing patient numbers arriving in the province’s hospitals continues, it will further strain capacity.

Dale also says intensive care units across Ontario are seeing younger patients, with more severe cases of COVID-19, which is straining the system.

Ontario’s Chief Medical officer of Health Doctor David Williams says COVID-19 for people under 50 now is a big deal.

“And even down younger age groups, people have to take real precautions during this time to limit the spread because it moves very quickly, very rapidly among people,” Williams explained.

He says it’s more important than ever to keep with distancing, masking, and hand hygiene along with socializing only with members of your household.

The age profile of people with severe COVID-19 is also shifting because of vaccines, which have contributed to a steep drop in infections and related deaths among residents of nursing and retirement homes.

It has been reported that doctors could soon use an emergency triage protocol that includes an online calculator to help decide who gets lifesaving care and who does not.

“It is really concerning. It’s always been the bogeyman, our healthcare system getting overwhelmed and we’ve managed to get away with it, explained Epidemiologist Dr. Colin Furness at the University of Toronto who was on a guest on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, “We have just amazing frontline healthcare workers and they have gone far beyond what anyone is expected to do.”

Dr. Furness says the third wave, made up mostly of COVID variants, is pushing the hospital system over the edge.

“We’re already lifting serious cases out of the GTA, so healthcare is already overwhelmed in some areas. Our capacity to do that is going to be limited and I think it’s the ultimate failure if we haven’t taken steps to control this, such that people are going to be dying needlessly,” Furness further details. Listen to the full conversation by clicking here.

On Monday, Ontario reported that 409 patients with COVID-19 are in hospital ICUs, with nearly half the patients on ventilators in the Toronto area.

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