Grey Bruce Health Services is managing personnel to make up for the five or six staff members each day who are testing positive.
GBHS CEO Gary Sims told the Herald Advance that in normal times across the family of six hospitals there would be about 100 people off for reasons from maternity leave, other absences or sickness.
Right now, there are another 25 to 30 per week, and the system is managing with a “float group” and on-call staffing. Due to new regulations, vaccinated people who test positive are now off work for a shorter time.
Since the province stopped hospitals from doing elective surgeries, that has provided more room to address shortfalls; for example, to move staff to other locations, Mr. Sims said.
The six beds of the ICU were full as of Monday afternoon. Four of the six are patients who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 (not patients who were in hospital already and then tested positive).
The medical units also are full, Mr. Sims added, but not with COVID patients. Instead, the hospitals were busy addressing the backlog of procedures from previous delays and shut-downs.
Mr. Sims said that the spread of Omicron in the rural areas of Grey-Bruce is trailing behind that in the cities. “It’s starting to happen now for us.”
“We’re thinking the peak of this will be between now and the end of January.”
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald