Thunder Bay

Surgeries to resume this week at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will get a little closer to normal operations, as it will start some surgeries this week.

COVID-19 unit to be reduced to 15 beds from 36

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will start to resume surgeries this week. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will get a little closer to normal operations, as it will start some surgeries this week.

The hospital cancelled all elective and non-essential surgeries on March 20 as part of its pandemic plan.

Those surgeries will slowly ramp up, said Dr. Stewart Kennedy, who heads up the hospital's COVID-19 response.

The resumption is partially due to capacity within the hospital, which is currently at about 70 per cent. Beds were originally vacated to ensure they could be open to deal with an influx of COVID-19 patients. But, that didn't happen.

"We planned for 36 beds in this COVID unit, and at no time have we gone over 8 or 9 beds. And, at no time did we have more than three or four COVID-positive patients in that unit."

Kennedy said there are 27 presumptive cases of the virus in the hospital as of Monday.

He said the 3A unit would be reconfigured, with more beds opened up for non-COVID patients.

"We're going to decrease the bed allocation to 15, so it will open up an additional 20 beds for our other medical and surgical patients that are required," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said more patients are coming through the emergency department, and are being admitted to the hospital for medical issues than during the height of the pandemic.

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.