An Ontario field hospital will begin taking patients this week as Ontario reported 3,128 new cases of COVID-19 and 51 more deaths on Jan. 5.
Located on the ground of Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, the unit was ready to treat patients on Jan. 4. The all-season facility was built in April as part of the hospital network’s capacity plan.
The unit is opening as a result of the increased need for COVID-19 care and pressure on hospitals in Burlington and surrounding communities.
“The Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) was built to ensure that should the need arise, we would have additional bed capacity available to care for COVID-19 patients — and that time is now,” says Eric Vandewall, Joseph Brant president and CEO.
With acute care units reaching their full capacity with COVID-19 patients, Vandewall said that the PRU was needed in order to keep scheduled surgeries and important services running at the hospitals.
The 16,000 square foot, 73-bed facility will receive patients from four hospitals currently providing acute COVID-19 care: Joseph Brant Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital) and Niagara Health.
Staff at the hospitals are identifying patients whose conditions have improved and could be transferred to the PRU. Any transfers will be determined based on care needs and in consultation with patients and their families.
Sources: CBC.ca, CTVNEWS.ca, The Canadian Press, TheStar.com