In a joint news conference the heads of both St Josephs Healthcare and Hamilton Health Sciences said they are planning for the worse and hoping for the best. Both organizations have curtailed elective procedures to create additional bed capacity. Between the two organizations the local system has close to 1200 beds available—a number that would include some offsite, unconventional capacity. Officials would not say how many respirators are available but said they believed they had enough to meet the expected need and would rely on an emergency provincial stockpile if more respirators are needed. Asked what the worst case scenario might look like both Dr Wes Stephen of HHSC and Winnie Doyle of St Jos said the 900 bed surge capacity was probably worst case.
Meanwhile Ontario reported 379 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 21 deaths, bringing the provincial total to 4,726 cases. The death toll has risen to 153.
The province has 614 hospitalized patients due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, with 233 patients in intensive care units and 187 in ICUs on a ventilator.
Provincial officials also reported 1,802 patients have recovered from the virus.
Tuesday’s report marks an 8.7 per cent increase in cases, compared to 7.7 per cent on Monday, 11.2 per cent on Sunday, 11.5 per cent on Saturday and 16.5 per cent on Friday.