Windsor Essex’s Healthcare System Facing “Extremely Serious Strain”

Friday December 4th, 2020

Posted at 9:43am

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Windsor Essex’s healthcare system is experiencing “extremely serious strain” as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, according to the leadership teams of area hospitals.

In a joint statement released by Windsor Regional Hospital, Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare and Erie Shores Healthcare, they say the region’s health care system “is facing extremely serious strain and your urgent help is required in ensuring we can continue to provide health care services to all who need it.”

The statement notes that in just the last week, outbreaks at Hôtel-Dieu and Windsor Regional risked significant reductions in available bed capacity “at a time when hospital bed use is above 100 per cent.” In the statement officials say patients in Windsor are being diverted to available space at Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington and others may need to be transferred to Chatham “to take advantage of every single bed available for patients.”

The statement says clinical teams have “no option other than to cancel scheduled surgeries and other procedures to ensure we have bed space available for emergency and other urgent cases.”

“The number of COVID-19 positive cases reported by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit are reaching a critical point…a rising number of workplaces and schools are facing outbreaks…[and] demand for COVID-19 testing continues to rise as case counts climb,” the statement reads.

The statement continues:

“Our employees and professional staff in many cases are reaching the point of exhaustion. Our community partners – paramedics, staff at long-term care and retirement home facilities, home care providers and mental health service staff – are also feeling the strain.

Make no mistake – COVID-19 is real. Regardless of the myths spread about this virus online and in media reports, one thing is certain: the higher the number of COVID-19 positive cases, the higher the likelihood of more and more cases requiring emergency and critical care. We also know much more about the virus often because of the impact this virus has on very common conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and those in poor cardiac health, respiratory conditions and anyone with immuno-compromised health.

We know many of you ‘are tired’ of COVID-19 and the constant messaging – to wear a mask, to keep physically distant from those outside of your immediate family and to limit excursions outside of the house to work, school and important needs such as groceries. We know many are tired of cancelled events, arts and recreation programs, and as we head towards the holidays and the new year, celebrations with extended family and friends.’

Our health care teams are tired too.

We are asking that you help them, and our communities, by understanding the severity of the situation and, no matter how many times you’ve heard it, and might be tired of hearing it, that you do your part to keep COVID-19 transmission at bay.

The lives of many individuals in our community are depending on your help.

It’s the season to give – so let’s please give the gift of understanding, compassion and kindness for our hospital workers and our communities at large.”

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