GTA COVID-19 patients have started arriving in Windsor — the first of dozens

·2 min read
Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj says all the patients so far have been COVID positive.  (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj says all the patients so far have been COVID positive. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

As of Monday, Windsor Regional Hospital has accepted eight patients from the Greater Toronto Area — the first of many to arrive over the next week.

In a memo sent out last week, Windsor Regional Hospital said starting Sunday it would be accepting five ward/medical patients a day, for the next eight days, from Trillium Health Partners. But the transfers began a bit earlier, with three patients sent to the region on Friday, according to Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) CEO David Musyj.

While speaking with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette on Monday, Musyj said what was supposed to be 40 patients has already jumped to 43.

This total doesn't include the number of critical care patients, who will be transferred as needed depending on ICU capacity. And these patients, Musyj said, can come in from other GTA hospitals.

He said the details are still being worked out, but Bluewater Health in Sarnia is also expected to take in critical patients from the GTA.

"Eight days is a long time in COVID days, so we'll see where we end up," Musyj said.

He said WRH has "physical capacity" to accommodate patients because of the pause on non-urgent surgeries that happened on April 12.

LISTEN: Windsor Regional Hospital prepares for more patients

Musyj added that COVID-19 hospital admissions in Windsor-Essex have also been relatively low, with 16 in hospital across the region.

So far, Musyj said all of the GTA patients have been COVID positive and they are trending toward younger age groups, with people in their 40s and 50s.

"It's just tragic that this wave is clearly affecting the younger individuals in our communities," Musyj said. "We are definitely seeing it trend toward the younger age group, especially the transfers we are seeing coming in."

The transfers, Musyj said have gone smooth and involve five ambulances with crews from Essex-Windsor, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton EMS.

"[Staff] know this what we are supposed to do. This is the right thing to do and we have to help not only, clearly, our community, but at the same time our region and our province," he said.

"I hope this is ... the last wave and we don't have to deal with this again but we don't know what the future holds."