Brampton Civic Hospital and Peel Paramedics grapple with COVID-19 and staffing shortages


Published January 5, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Brampton Civic emergency room wait times top 2 hours

Brampton Civic Hospital and Peel Paramedics are working to address staff shortages and the pressures of COVID-19 as dozens of patients with the virus have been admitted to hospital.

On Sunday, the Peel Paramedic Union said the EMS was running at Code Black, meaning there was one or less available ambulance in the entire region of Peel.

In a statement on Wednesday, Peel Regional Paramedic Services said it has put measures in place to help address staff shortages, including expanding the use of rapid antigen testing, redeploying non-union paramedics, and expanding the ability to pick up additional overtime shifts.”

A day after paramedics declared a Code Black, William Osler Health System declared a Code Orange as an increase in COVID-19 patients and demand for hospital care outpaced hospital capacity.

Osler oversees operations at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General, which typically see an increase in patients during the winter months according to president and CEO Dr. Naveed Mohammad.

But a “significant” number of COVID-19 patients has “compounded the season surge.”

Mohammad said there were 105 COVID-19 patients across the health system of Tuesday evening, and seven of those patients were in intensive care.
Of those patients, 68 are at Brampton Civic with five in ICU.

Another 86 patients are waiting on PCR testing results, and Mohammed said the total number of OVID-19 patients at Osler hospitals “could go up as the day goes on.”

Despite the capacity and staff challenges due to the increased presence of covid 19 and highly transmissible omicron variant, Mohammad said Osler has enough staff and triage nurses to give care to anyone who needs it as result of our Code Orange.

He also noted that the public has been helping the health system thanks to a significantly reduced number of patients with minor injuries coming to Osler hospitals.

“We’re getting help from everywhere and if you need to come in come in,” Mohammad said. You will be treated, and it will be safe.”

Correction: an earlier version of this story said the Code Black was declared on Monday, when it was declared on Sunday.

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