Coronavirus: Peterborough hospital at 90% bed capacity; 20,000 handmade masks distributed

Hospitals across the province were forbidden to perform non-emergency surgeries at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, hospitals like PRHC in Stage 2 areas can begin dealing with the backlog

Peterborough Regional Health Centre is currently operating at 90 per cent bed capacity, the hospital’s vice-president announced Tuesday.

In her media conference, Dr. Lynn Mikula, the hospital’s vice-president, chief medical executive and chief of staff, noted that Ontario Health recently updated its capacity for acute care hospitals to operate from an 85 per cent capacity to 90 per cent capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still within line of the provincial expectation,” said Mikula.

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Currently, there are no inpatients with COVID-19, she noted, with the last patient being discharged earlier this month.

The hospital was also among the first in the province to resume non-urgent care, which has been rolled out in a phased approach in collaboration and review with other regional hospitals and care providers.

PRHC’s non-urgent care is currently at 50 per cent of normal volume, she said, with a goal to enter Phase 3 at 75 per cent.

“We can continue to prioritize the most urgent cases and are working hard to deliver care to those people who are waiting,” she said.

Second wave?

Mikula said the hospital could roll back non-urgent care or capacity limits if there is a second wave of the coronavirus in Ontario.

“It’s certainly possible — I think we are all hoping that if there is a second wave, we will have learned from our experiences the first time around about how far we need to go in terms of rolling back non-urgent care,” she said.

“The first time around we really didn’t know what to expect — it was new. We have learned some lessons on how quickly we can create capacity in the hospital if we need to. We’re watching all of it on a daily basis.”

Mikula noted the hospital’s personal protective equipment supply is “holding out well.”

“At the moment we are in good shape,” she said.

By the numbers:

  • 195: Number of patient visits to PRHC’s emergency department daily.
  • 700: Number of people visiting the hospital daily.
  • 20,000: Number of handmade masks provided to patients and visitors. “We continue to accept donations of handmade masks and encourage people to wash and reuse their masks when they return to the hospital to ensure we maintain our supply,” said Mikula.
  • 5,000: Number of asymptomatic people tested (300 daily) at the drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic at the Kinsmen Civic Centre in Peterborough. The site will remain open until least this Friday, open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If anyone is showing symptoms of COVID-19, call the hospital’s assessment centre at 705-876-5086.

More to come.



© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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