Ontario Asks Other Provinces, Territories to Send Nurses as COVID Surges

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People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario is pleading with other provinces to send nurses and other health workers as it buckles under surging COVID-19 infections.

In a letter to all provinces and territories, the Ontario government notes it is short thousands of nurses.

The deputy minister of health, Helen Angus, also asks whether her counterparts have any resources to spare.

Her letter says the pandemic has strained hospital capacity, particularly intensive care.

 

Angus estimates Ontario will be short 4,145 nurses in the hospital sector alone over the next four months.

The letter asks for another 620 health professionals, including nurses and respiratory therapists.

“Specifically, the province would need assistance in southern Ontario, anticipated to be in the Greater Toronto Area and immediate surrounding areas,” Angus writes. “We are projecting a need for this critical support for four months following the anticipated peak of the third wave.”

More to come.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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