Health Minister Christine Elliott announced today that foreign-trained nurses will be deployed in Ontario hospitals to try to address staffing shortages in the system. The nurses will work under the supervision of Ontario medical staff. She estimates the measure will result in about 1200 additional workers coming into the system. In a release, the Ministry says the government has added 3,100 medical and surgical hospital beds to the system and that there are now more than 2600 ICU beds in Ontario. There are still approximately 600 ICU beds not in use, and the province says it has the capacity to expand that number by 500 if necessary. One encouraging sign that has emerged from the Omicron wave is that ICU stays have reduced from an average of 17 days to seven with the new variant.
With news that schools will reopen as scheduled on Monday the 17th of January, Elliott was asked what has been accomplished in the extra two weeks of school shutdown that was announced earlier this month.