I hope that everyone is enjoying the beautiful spring weather we seem to be having and remaining in good health. As we enter in to a new stay-at-home order, I wanted to provide another update for you.
Cases in our region seem to have increased rapidly over the past couple of weeks. KFL&A now has 95 active cases, PEC Hastings has 171 Cases and LGL has 103 active cases.
Ontario is now running a 7-day average of 3256. The Ministry of Health has said that there are 552 patients with COVID-19-related illnesses being treated in intensive care units, over 359 of those people require a ventilator. The test positivity rate in Ontario is now sitting at 6.3% and the active case count is nearing 30,000. This situation is quickly becoming very serious.
All hospitals in Ontario have been instructed to prepare to receive patients from other regions to help ensure that effective care can be managed across the province. KHSC and Providence Care Hospital have already been receiving patients from outside the region and expect to be receiving more in the coming days and weeks. The third wave is upon us and there has never been a more dangerous time during this pandemic. The new variants are spreading fast and we need to stay diligent until we can get enough people vaccinated to stop this virus.
While it can be difficult to find the positive side during such difficult times, this pandemic has brought to light the incredible resiliency of our healthcare teams. This pandemic has made them stronger, smarter, faster, more efficient and more agile than they’ve ever been.
Locally, our teams have built an assessment centre and vaccination distribution sites that are tremendously efficient and provincially recognized. They have logged more than 80,000 swabs. More than 200,000 tests were processed through KHSC’s labs which is a 3000% increase over the number of PCR tests in a normal year. This lab has now been identified of one of only four genomic sequencing sites working to identify COVID-19 variants.
In what seems like record time, KHSC increased bed capacity by opening a new inpatient surgical unit at Hotel Dieu Hospital adding 40 new surgical beds to allow them to keep servicing our community through this pandemic and minimize the backlog of surgeries. Everything they do every day is with the focus on the health of members in our community. While juggling every challenge this last year has thrown them, they have also stayed focused on several very big initiatives, including the redevelopment project for KHSC and the new Providence Manor. They have also set up an Alternative Health Facility (field hospital) that is ready to begin operations on short notice.
Teamwork, collaboration, innovation, partnership, compassion and respect are all words that come to mind when I look at what these teams have accomplished. This pandemic has strengthened them at a time where it could have broken them. As a community we all benefit from this and we need to continue to do our part. We are in the homestretch now and it’s time to bring this pandemic to an end, but we will only achieve this if we stick together.
The UHKF staff is now working remotely again to support the stay-at-home order from the government to keep as many people home as possible. Please continue to follow the advice and public health guidelines in place, even if you have already been vaccinated. There has never been a more critical time to do so and how soon we end this depends on all of us doing our part. Stay home, stay safe and encourage everyone you may be able to influence to do the same.
We will get through this together!
Health care needs continue to change rapidly. Community members continue to reach out asking what they can do to help. At this time, KHSC and Providence Care are asking those that wish to help to direct their support through Donations to Areas of Greatest Priority – both KHSC and Providence Care have constant need for equipment to provide care to patients, clients and residents.
If there is a caregiver or department at KHSC or Providence Care you would like to recognize, please consider an Honour Your Caregiver donation.
Donations may be made here. Thank you for all your continued support as we navigate through this together.
President and CEO
University Hospitals Kingston Foundation