Jan 04, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Starting Wednesday, all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures will be paused here in Ontario, as part of newly introduced restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

The province’s chief medical officer of health joined Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott for a series of announcements Monday before the noon hour.

Dr. Kieran Moore says he’s reinstating the so-called Directive 2 for hospitals and regulated health professionals, as the province prepares for unprecedented rates of absenteeism related to Omicron.

“At any given time in the coming weeks, we can expect across all sectors at 20 to 30 percent absenteeism as a result of Omicron spreading so rapidly across Ontario, so our health system has to start building continuity of operations plans. They have to anticipate that we won’t have as many staff as necessary and also we have to prepare increased bed capacity,” Moore explained

At the same time, a Code Orange has been declared at the William Osler Health System.

A news release issued Monday evening by William Osler Health System President and CEO Dr. Naveed Mohammad says this measure is typically used when capacity outpaces demand to ensure internal and external resources are deployed efficiently.

Mohammad goes on to say implementing Code Orange will allow for the continuation of providing high quality care for patients.

The measure is said to be temporary and will see patients transferred to neighbouring hospitals to free up capacity at both Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals.

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