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Kingston’s main ICU at capacity, including 17 out-of-region COVID-19 patients

One of Kingston’s intensive care units (ICUs) is completely full, with about half of its beds taken up by COVID-19 patients from outside of the region.

Kingston has been one of several regions in Ontario that has been accepting COVID-19 patients in need of critical care from hot spots elsewhere in the province whose ICUs are overflowing with patients. Currently, KFL&A Public Health is reporting zero local hospitalizations from COVID-19.

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Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) says their main ICU is at 100 per cent occupancy as of Thursday, including 17 beds serving COVID-19-positive patients from across the Ontario Health East Region.

“COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are on the rise during this third wave of the pandemic, and Kingston Health Sciences Centre is not immune to this increased demand,” said a statement from Renate Ilse, vice president of patient care at KHSC.

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Kingston General Hospital has two intensive care units, the Kidd unit, which has 33 beds, and the Davies 4 Unit, which has 18 beds. KHSC says the Kidd unit is currently full.

Ilse says they are expecting five more COVID-19 patients to be transferred to their ICUs on Friday, for a total of 23 high-needs patients from out of region. More will follow, she says.

Although case counts have stayed relatively low in the Kingston region, cases have soared across the province over the last couple of weeks.

In Ontario, hospitalizations are up by 41 per cent over the past two weeks and new variants of concern now account for 65 per cent of all cases in the province.

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On Monday, Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for the region, told reporters there were 10 patients on respirators in local ICUs as of Sunday.

On top of the COVID-19 patients, KHSC says it’s also been dealing with a surge in non-COVID-related ICU visits.

“We have opened up additional critical care capacity and are working to reconfigure our services to accommodate what we expect to be a significant surge in the next few weeks,” Ilse said.

The Ministry of Health says they are working on a response for this story.

— With a file from Global News’ Saba Aziz

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