1,000+ new COVID cases for 14th day threatens Ontario surgeries

Nov 20, 2020

Ontario’s healthcare community is raising concerns about the soaring number of COVID-19 cases across the province. This comes as a key threshold is nearing, that will make it more difficult for hospitals to provide surgeries.

Critical Care Services Ontario is confirming there are 150 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units around the province. That follows a case count that has political leaders and healthcare professionals worried: more than 1,000 new cases a day for the 14th-straight day. There were 1,210 on Wednesday.

The Ontario government has said once the number of patients in intensive care reaches 150, non-COVID-19 needs become more difficult. At 350, it becomes impossible to handle.

“This means we’re going to have to limit access to non-COVID-related care, cancel surgeries, cancel cancer surgeries, cancel hip replacements, knee replacements," said Critical Care Dr. Michael Warner.

"We don’t want to do this. We can’t do this. People die if we do this.” -Dr. Michael Warner

Warner and other healthcare professionals are urging the Ontario government to take urgent steps to address the issue. Warner also said the numbers in ICUs are happening about five days ahead of the governments’ modeling predictions, made a week ago.

The Ontario Hospital Association said given the gravity of the situation, hospitals will do everything possible to maintain access to care. Premier Doug Ford said he will make an announcement about new restrictions Friday.