Local hospitals suspend non-urgent procedures amid rising COVID-19 cases
The roughly two-week suspension will begin Jan. 4 and will be re-evaluated Jan. 12
Local hospitals are suspending non-urgent procedures for at least two weeks due to the increased demand in COVID-19 care.
The local hospitals impacted by the Ontario Health directive include Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Guelph General Hospital, Grand River Hospital, St. Mary's General Hospital, North Wellington Health Care and Groves Memories Community Hospital.
From Jan. 4 to Jan. 17, local hospitals will only provide urgent, emergent and cancer surgical procedures. They'll also maintain emergency departments, inpatient care and essential clinics.
A news release on Friday said patients who are impacted will be contacted by the hospital or their doctor's office.
"We know this will be difficult news for patients that are waiting for their surgery, and for our own team members," said Bonnie Camm, executive vice president of patient care services at Grand River Hospital, in the news release.
"As we start to see COVID-19 cases rise in the community and across our own team members, we need to take steps to ensure we can dedicate available resources to continue providing urgent care to those in need," Camm added.
Lee Fairclough, president of St. Mary's General Hospital, was also quoted in the release.
"Our goal will be to ramp up quickly when it is safe to do so but for now, these changes are necessary to support both capacity and the utilization of available staff to be redeployed where required," said Fairclough.
Local hospitals will re-evaluate the COVID-19 situation by Jan. 12.
There were 3,272 active COVID-19 cases in Waterloo region as of Friday.