On March 18, 24 patients were admitted to Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19. As of April 11, there were 96. That number is expected to reach 200 next week and potentially 400, with 120 patients in intensive care units, in coming weeks if the trend continues, he said.
As COVID-19 hospital admissions spike in the city, Ottawa hospitals have also been admitting transfer patients from the Greater Toronto Area, where many hospital ICUs are full. The Ottawa Hospital, Montfort and Queensway Carleton have accepted a total of five critically ill patients from the Scarborough area this week and more are expected.
Hospital staff are already spread thin as they take on vaccinating, testing and helping out in nursing homes, along with growing case loads.
Ottawa Public Health is preparing a public health order that would limit capacity and enforce mask wearing on basketball courts and skate parks. The city is also looking at curfews in some parks and increased enforcement of people gathering.
Maloughney said individuals could protect the straining health system by taking public health guidelines more seriously than ever, especially with more transmissible variants of concern now making up most COVID-19 infections.
“This is where we are and why we need to focus on bending this curve as quickly as possible.”
The city has ramped up vaccinations in recent days, at mass clinics for everyone 60 and over and clinics in high-risk neighbourhoods, as well as at pharmacies.
But a delay in deliveries of Moderna vaccines could mean people already booked for vaccines will receive something else.
Anthony Di Monte, the city’s general manager of emergency and protective services, said those appointments should not have to be cancelled, as some were in parts of the GTA.
“We are talking to the province to try to find a solution to this gap. I don’t want people to panic right now. I suspect we will have a solution,” he said.
The city has administered more than 236,000 doses of vaccine, but that isn’t enough to turn the curve, city and health officials said.
“The people immunized in the next few weeks are not going to help us get out of this wave. It is really going to come down to our own behaviours,” Moloughney said.
This content was originally published here.