By shuffling beds and an aggressive curtailment of elective procedures, St Joseph’s hospital expects to be able to create up to 200 beds to meet the COVID19 crisis, mostly at the Charlton Campus. The information came to light in a town hall meeting with staff today. By moving non-essential patients and procedures from the system, the Hospital has freed up 40 percent of its beds. With all of these measures the hospital has created almost double the number of beds that the province forecast as being needed. Beyond the hospital beds that have been freed up, contingency plans are in place to look outside the hospital for surge capacity, This could include local hotels and convention centers.
With regard to the outbreak of COVID at the Special care nursery officials reported that three staff tested positive for COVID and are in isolation at home. Three infants be determined to have had potential exposure. Two had already gone home and were brought back for testing. There have been no infants tested positive so far. As well all staff in the unit have been tested and aside from the three already identified, all have tested negative.
At the beginning of the meeting Premier Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott joined by phone and reassured the hospital managers that they are leaving no stone unturned to locate protective equipment. Managers indicated that St Jos stocks will last another week and a half, and expressed confidence that more supplies will arrive in time. Procurement staff have been working 16-hour days in an effort to Access PPE supplies. The hospital is looking at sterilization and recycling of PPE as was recommended this week by senior government public health officials.