District hospitals make room for COVID patients transferred from south

Recent counts and rates of COVID-19 in Ontario, from April 26.

The North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit is the only region in Ontario with a new case rate currently below 40 per 100,000 people, as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the province.

As of April 27, there are 12 active cases in the Health Unit district, for a total of 346 since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 228 cases in the Nipissing region and 118 in Parry Sound area.

Though the region isn’t experiencing the worst of the pandemic, area hospitals are still being impacted. COVID-positive patients were transferred from overrun hot spots to both the ICU at North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) and Health Sciences North in Sudbury last week. Even though West Nipissing General Hospital doesn’t have an ICU, CEO Cynthia Desormiers says they still have a part to play in helping our neighbours to the south.

“We are repatriating patients back from North Bay and Sudbury to ensure we have good patient flow and allow the hospitals with ICUs the ability to accept these transfers. It is very much a system approach, and everyone has a role to play,” she said in an email. “Our biggest challenge is now getting patients admitted into LTC [long term care] homes in our district, to ensure our district hospital (NBRHC) and our local hospital (WNGH) can accept patients being transferred to us. It is all about creating capacity in our acute system and placing patients/residents safely in the right place. Given that our residents and ALC patients are fully vaccinated, we are excited about having them admitted into LTC homes, especially with the recent changes in directives. Residents who are fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test will not need to be isolated when they are admitted into a LTC home.”

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