The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is ready to serve its community and neighbours in need.
According to Lori Marshall, President and CEO of CKHA, the hospital could accept patients from other hospitals that have hit capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Nov. 19, Ontario had 150 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. This triggered a key threshold that government projections said could lead to cancelled surgeries and less support for patients.
“We continue to have a slightly different profile in Chatham-Kent compared to many other areas of the province,” said Marshall. “We are at about 70 percent occupancy in the hospital.”
While the hospital does not have a specific number of beds designated for COVID-19 patients, it does have a plan to group patients in a unit. According to Marshall, some patients can be kept in the intensive-care unit, while those requiring a lower level of care can be put together in a pod in the medical unit.
Marshall understands there are other areas within Ontario that are also in need of help during these unprecedented times.
If necessary, the hospital group could take in COVID-19 patients from outside Chatham-Kent or accept non-virus patients forced out of other hospitals by a COVID-19 surge.
“Our hospital is really considered not only a resource and asset to Chatham-Kent, but it is also a provincial resource and asset,” said Marshall.
She said it is possible that at some stage, CKHA might anticipate that patients could be transferred to Chatham-Kent from other jurisdictions, in the event that care was required and the individuals were at a level that would be suitable for care to be provided in Chatham-Kent.
As Chatham-Kent begins the transition to “Yellow-Protect”, Marshall urges citizens to follow COVID-19 guidelines.
Marshall said it is important everyone in the province adheres to the things we know make a difference - social distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing masks.
“This is what is going to help to keep us all healthy and also to keep the capacity available to support people in the event people do need hospitalization for anything.”
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News