William Osler Health System declares ‘Code Orange,’ Brampton Civic suspends non-urgent programs and services


Published January 4, 2022 at 11:18 am

William Osler Health System has declared a “Code Orange” in Brampton as an increase in COVID-19 patients and staffing challenges are impacting hospital capacity.

A Code Orange is typically used when “capacity outpaces demand,” and Osler said the move will ensure resources are deployed efficiently.

Osler said the move will help deal with the mounting pressures of COVID-19 and create more capacity.

Osler, which oversees the operations at Brampton Civic Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital, made the announcement on Monday just hours after the province said more COVID-19 restrictions are coming to Ontario on Wednesday.

All urgent procedures will continue, but the health system has temporarily suspended all non-urgent programs and services. Osler said all affected patients are being contacted by Osler to re-schedule their appointments.

“This move will enable us to continue to provide high-quality care to our patients, and we are grateful to our staff, physicians and volunteers who have moved swiftly to enact our Code Orange policy and procedures,” said Dr. Naveed Mohammad, Osler’s president and CEO President. “Osler continues to be a safe place to work and to receive care.”

The changes are in line with the province’s latest COVID-19 pandemic response directives, Osler said.

Mohammad told CP24 there were 92 patients with COVID-19 at Osler’s two hospitals as of Tuesday, with four of those patients being treated in intensive care.

He said there is an increased number of patients with COVID-19 and an uptick in frontline healthcare workers unable to work due to confirmed cases of the virus, or being close contacts of someone with a confirmed case.

Mohammad said the Omicron variant of the virus is not causing the same severe effects experienced in the pandemic’s third wave, but the variant is so infectious that it is “very easily transmissible and that is where the issues are occurring.”

Osler said it is receiving support for the transfer of patients to neighboring hospitals in order to free up capacity.

The Code Orange is a temporary measure, and Osler said it will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

Peel Public Health said more than 680 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Brampton on Monday.

Ontario reported an increase of 11,352 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Tuesday.

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