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Ontario hospitals told to ‘ramp down’ all elective, non-emergency surgeries due to COVID-19

The president of the Ontario Hospital Association says hospitals have been directed to “ramp down” all elective surgeries and non-emergency activities starting Monday amid the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A major redeployment of staff and resources is required to provide care for a large wave of COVID patients requiring hospitalization,” Anthony Dale tweeted.

As of Friday, there are 541 patients in Ontario’s ICUs with COVID-19 according to Critical Care Services Ontario’s daily report — the highest number seen in the entire pandemic. Patients admitted to ICUs in the province have surged in the last couple weeks.

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“This situation is extraordinarily serious and we ask for patience and support from the people of Ontario as hospitals grapple with this historic crisis,” Dale continued. “Ensuring equitable access to critical care services is our paramount priority.”

Following the scale back directive, another physician Dr. Naheed Dosani said he has received calls from concerned patients living at home with serious illnesses who are “understandably upset that their surgeries/procedures will be canceled.”

Premier Doug Ford declared a third state of emergency and implemented a stay-at-home order in effect for the next four weeks as the province struggles to bring down rising COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations.

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