As pressure builds, Ottawa Hospital moves to Level 2

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The Ottawa Hospital says it's preparing to care for as many as 220 COVID-19 patients, but hopes it never comes to that. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press - image credit)
The Ottawa Hospital says it's preparing to care for as many as 220 COVID-19 patients, but hopes it never comes to that. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press - image credit)

The Ottawa Hospital says it's preparing to implement the second stage of its plan to deal with the growing surge of COVID-19 patients.

"The current COVID-19 situation has created rapidly increasing pressure on the health-care system," the hospital wrote in a news release Thursday afternoon.

"Despite the current stay-at-home order, the situation continues to escalate, and we have not yet reached the peak of the third wave, which is tremendously concerning."

As of Thursday, there were 84 COVID-19 patients at the city's hospitals, 25 of them in intensive care. That same day, Ottawa tied its one-day record with 370 new cases.

The Ottawa Hospital, which has three campuses across the city, said Level 2 involves increasing bed capacity and redeploying staff from other units as non-emergency procedures and services are reduced.

The hospital said while it has the capacity to care for as many as 220 COVID-19 patients, it hopes to never reach that point.

"These are unprecedented times for all of us, and such a situation brings up many emotions including fear, anxiety, and a loss of control about what the future may bring," the hospital wrote.

The hospital is urging patience, and asking people to stay home and follow public health guidelines. But it also offered some hope.

"One thing that all pandemics have in common is that at some point they do come to an end, and so will this one," the hospital said.