"As we head into the long weekend, it’s important we remain vigilant with public health measures, including masking, physical distancing and hand washing, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 variants of concern are circulating in Niagara and impacting younger populations. Intensive Care Units in Ontario are seeing younger patients with more severe cases of COVID-19. Today, Critical Care Services Ontario reported the highest number of patients in the ICUs – 430 – since the pandemic began.
At Niagara Health, we are seeing increasing cases of patients with COVID-19. Today our team is caring for 10 patients with COVID-19 at our St. Catharines Site, including eight under the age of 65. Three patients are in the Intensive Care Unit. At the same time, cases in the community continue to climb, with 611 active cases reported in Niagara today. We know from experience that activity in the hospital is two to three weeks behind activity in the community.
Our Emergency Operations Centre continues to meet on a regular basis to monitor the situation. Our leaders also work closely with hospitals in our region and with provincial partners to manage surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations and support each other as needed. This will be especially important in the coming weeks to manage the pressures on ICUs and could include ongoing transfers of critically ill patients to Niagara from hospitals in harder-hit areas of the province.
We have strong processes in place at Niagara Health, and there are no changes to share at this time. We are maintaining our services at current levels and continue with our enhanced infection prevention and control measures, which have helped us to remain COVID-outbreak free since Feb. 11.
On behalf of the Niagara Health team, thank you for your support, co-operation and understanding.
Wishing everyone a healthy and safe long weekend."