Posted: January 18, 2022

Waterloo Region & Wellington County | January 18, 2022 –

Click here to view the Waterloo Wellington COVID Report for Tuesday, January 18, 2022 that local hospitals have committed to jointly providing on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Hospitalizations for COVID continue to rise, and this week a picture of the dramatic spike since September is included. From last Friday to today, the net total patients positive for COVID in hospital has increased from 151 to 166, plus many who have resolved continue in our care.

Our hospitals continue to be near full capacity with acute care occupancy reported anywhere from 92% to 98% and St. Mary’s case today, 104%. Patients seeking care at our local hospitals are quite sick and the majority are unvaccinated. ICU in all hospitals are also over 80%, including St. Mary’s that changed today to 81%. All hospitals are actively working to open additional beds in both traditional and non-traditional room spaces (such as surgical recovery areas as temporary wards).

Hospitals continue to cope not only with additional demand for service but staff away from the workplace. Over 500 staff across Waterloo Wellington are impacted by COVID either testing positive or in isolation due to a high-risk contact and unable to come to work. We are grateful that the numbers of hospital staff impacted by COVID has decreased since last week, from 570 to 509. Vaccination against COVID-19 has resulted in mostly mild illness for staff, and faster returns to work.

As a system of care, Ontario Health provided additional directives to provincial hospitals in response to the situation. Directive 2.1 enables hospitals to implement new models of care, transfer or accept out-of-community patients and prepare to redeploy staff to nontraditional spaces. However, even if beds and additional spaces were to be added, staffing these beds remains the largest challenge to date.

“The number of patients requiring care continues to outpace our resources. You need only look in the faces of the staff and patients in our hospitals including those in stretchers lining our hallways, to understand the tremendous pressures we are facing. From this vantage point, we see that Omicron is serious and is not through with us yet. Vaccination continues to be one of our most impactful tools against more severe infection. Thank you to the community for continuing to do your part by getting vaccinated and limiting any unnecessary contacts.”

- Lee Fairclough, president, St. Mary’s General Hospital and Waterloo Wellington hospital regional lead, COVID-19 response.

More Information:

Alison Armstrong

Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations

Wellington Health Care Alliance

Groves Memorial Community Hospital

North Wellington Health Care

519-843-2010 ext. 47614

Stephan Beckhoff

Manager, Public Affairs & Communications

Cambridge Memorial Hospital

t: 519-621-2333 ext. 2427

m: 519-654-8334

Cheryl Evans

Manager, Communications and Engagement

Grand River Hospital

t: 519-749-4300 ext. 3880

m: 226-749-0689

Perry Hagerman

Senior Communications Specialist

Guelph General Hospital

519-837-6440 ext. 2774

Dayna Giorgio

Manager, Communications

St. Mary’s General Hospital