Message to the Community from Eric Vandewall, President & CEO - May 28, 2021

Posted on Friday May 28, 2021

Last week, the Government of Ontario unveiled a three-stage reopening plan that relies on vaccination rates, critical care occupancy, and other criteria to allow the gradual easing of current restrictions as well as the re-opening of businesses and activities. This news follows a very encouraging decline in acute care hospitalizations cases and decline in the number of daily new COVID 19 cases.

At JBH, we are starting to see some relief from the intense pressure on our critical care beds, and are currently at 86% capacity. As of today, we are caring for 4 confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, with 1 confirmed case in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), along with 16 recovered patients who continue to require our care in the ICU and acute care units.

While we are seeing positive signs that we nearing an end to the third wave of this pandemic, we are still some time away from being able to say we are in the post-pandemic recovery phase. We must remain vigilant and continue to be patient – we will get there, it will take time.

Last week, the province lifted the restrictions in place since April that paused scheduled and non-urgent procedures to help manage the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients across the province. This means that hospitals can begin resuming these services if they can do so while still maintaining COVID-19 care capacity.

We know how important resuming this care is to our patients and their families. At JBH, we are starting to move in that direction and are working with our clinical teams and regional hospital partners to ramp up surgical care as quickly and as safely as possible. However, it is important that we continue to preserve critical care capacity for COVID-19 care, so this may take time to complete. If you are awaiting a surgery or other procedure, your doctor will contact you directly with more information.

This week, we reached a significant milestone in having administered over 25,000 vaccinations at our Halton Region Vaccination Clinic. It was a proud moment for our teams and a testament to the hard work of our staff, volunteers and partners in public health. Across Halton, over 300,000 people have now received either a first or second dose. We are very grateful to everyone in the community who has received the vaccine, booked an appointment, or are planning to do so once it is their turn.

It is important to remember that regardless of your vaccination status, public health experts recommend that we should continue to follow safety measures such as wearing masks in public, physical distancing, and regular hand washing.

I hope that you have found these community updates helpful in keeping you informed about our work at JBH. Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

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