Grey Bruce Health Services Enhancing Capacity to Care for Increase in COVID-19 Illness

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Media Release

April 1, 2020 – Grey Bruce Health Services is enhancing its capacity to manage any potential increase in COVID-19 cases across the region. 

A number of plans are underway to ensure GBHS hospitals can safely care for COVID-19 patients, while maintaining essential services such as the Emergency Departments, chemotherapy, labour and delivery, dialysis, and urgent diagnostic tests and surgeries. 

“With the limited number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our region, we are able to support the current situation,” said Gary Sims, GBHS President and CEO. “However, our job is to be prepared for what’s to come, and right now we are flexing up to accommodate additional patients within our hospitals, and externally at alternate locations.”

In addition to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre that has been running for the past two weeks, GBHS has created a dedicated Respiratory Surge unit at its Owen Sound Hospital, added beds to the Intensive Care and Medicine units, and redesigned the Ambulatory Care area to handle up to 150 assessments for COVID-19 per 12 hour shift. 

Plans are also underway to increase bed capacity to cope with a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. Inpatients who are awaiting placement for a long-term care or other community care facility are being moved to the GBHS Markdale Hospital from other GBHS hospitals. Additional beds will be added to the Rehab unit in Owen Sound to care for this same patient population. Medical patients will be co-located in the Meaford Hospital, and additional beds are being considered for that site. 

GBHS is also looking for a non-traditional hospital facility to care for up to 75 additional patients should the system require it. 

A number of locations are being considered, including the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound. GBHS will work with community, provincial, county and municipal partners, plus the Grey Bruce Health Unit, to deploy such a facility.