Ontario Hits 150 COVID-19 Cases in Intensive Care, May Result in Cancelled Surgeries

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Registered nurses, some of whom work on a COVID-19 floor, wear personal protective equipment as they take a coffee break at the Humber River Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Thursday, November 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario now has 150 COVID-19 patients in its intensive care units – a key threshold that government projections have indicated could lead to cancelled surgeries.

The head of the Ontario Hospital Association said Thursday that the province hit that figure as all regions were reporting a rise in admissions.

“As of this morning there are now 150 patients in ICU with COVID-19 related conditions,” Anthony Dale tweeted.

Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, said the province’s ICUs hit the number five days earlier than the government had projected earlier this month.

“This means we’re going to have to limit access to non-COVID-related care, cancel cancer surgeries, cancel hip replacements, knee replacements,” he said. “We don’t want to do this. We can’t do this, people will die if we do this.”

The news comes as Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet are poised to consider new measures, including lockdowns, for the province’s COVID-19 hot spots.

Ford said Wednesday that further restrictions are needed because hospitals are reaching capacity. He said he expects to announce the new measures for Toronto, Peel, and York Region on Friday.

Warner urged the premier not to delay introducing the measures.

“Premier Ford, if you’re going to make a move, let’s make it today,” he said. “Let’s not announce it tomorrow to be implemented Monday. We need to keep the health care system accessible to all patients, whether they have COVID or not.”

Ontario reported 1,210 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and 28 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 361 cases are in Peel Region, 346 are in Toronto, and 143 are in York Region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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