Waterloo Region & Wellington County | February 4, 2022
Click here to read the Waterloo Wellington COVID Report for Friday, February 4, 2022 that local hospitals have committed to jointly providing on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Revisions to Directive #2, released earlier this week, enable hospitals to increase imaging and screening to support diagnostics for patients while most other scheduled procedures continue to be on hold. Although the ramp down of non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries allowed hospitals to redeploy staffing and available resources to deal with the increased demand during the Omicron wave, it has meant wait lists for surgeries and procedures has grown by approximately 2,300 additional patients each month.
The continued pressures on hospitals from COVID-19 limits the ability to ramp up scheduled procedures. The gradual ramp up of surgeries and procedures, hopefully something that can begin within the next two weeks, will be a slow and gradual process. The capacity to do this rests on our ability as a community to continue to adhere to Public Health measures to reduce transmission and the severity of illness requiring patients to be hospitalized.
In comparison to Tuesday’s report, we are seeing a downward trend in the number of COVID-positive patients and staff impacted by COVID locally. Today, there are 122 patients in our care, down from 133 on Tuesday, and 225 staff who are impacted, down from 257. This trend is encouraging however, we do continue to care for more patients that there are beds across Waterloo Wellington. This has required our hospitals to transfer patients within and out of the region due to capacity challenges seeing between 10-20 transfers each day this week.
Also, in support of COVID-related care, Health Canada has approved the use of Paxlovid, a prescription-only COVID antiviral treatment. Supply is limited and is being prioritized for individuals based on the Ontario Science Table recommendations on its use. This includes those who are COVID-positive, at higher risk for severe outcomes, and who meet very specific eligibility criteria. St. Mary’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic is designated as a hub for referrals made for Paxlovid by other COVID assessment centres, primary care clinicians or other physician specialists, or by self-referral. Appointments for St. Mary's COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Clinic must be made in advance by booking online. Antivirals do not in any way replace vaccination that continues to be one of our most effective defenses against severe illness from COVID-19 and one that will help us to get through the Omicron wave together.
“We are starting to see infection rates coming down in our communities,” says Grand River Hospital President and CEO, Ron Gagnon. “This is promising but we are not yet seeing the impact of this reduction in local hospitals to any great extent. Hospital team members continue to work harder than ever during this wave to care for unprecedented volumes of patients who require urgent care within the challenges of COVID-19. We continue to work as hospital partners to monitor volumes and resources with the goal of increasing access to non-urgent care and procedures as soon as possible.”
“It is promising to see some new drug therapies being made available to those with COVID for specific groups," says Lee Fairclough, Regional Hospital Lead for COVID response and President, St. Mary’s General Hospital. “It is also good to see some reduction in the number of new hospitalizations for COVID in our community, though it is still precarious as we continue to work across Waterloo Wellington and with neighboring regions that remain under significant pressure.”
Manager, Public Affairs & Communications
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
t: 519-621-2333 ext. 2427
Manager, Communications and
Grand River Hospital
t: 519-749-4300 ext. 3880
Manager, Communications and
Wellington Health Care Alliance
Groves Memorial Community Hospital
North Wellington Health Care
519-843-2010 ext. 47614
Senior Communications Specialist
Guelph General Hospital
519-837-6440 ext. 2774
St. Mary’s General Hospital