Burlington hospital needs urgent help from community to 'avoid crisis'

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Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital delivered an urgent message to the community Thursday saying its feeling an”enormous strain” from the rise of COVID-19 cases.

The local hospital, which is currently at 94 per cent capacity and reached full capacity this past weekend, is pleading with residents to stay be patient, stay home and follow all public health measures.

“We need your help to avert a crisis,” Joseph Brant Hospital President & CEO Eric Vandewall said.

The hospital is doing all it can to make beds available for the rising number of both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients who require urgent, live-saving care.

“We have put all non-urgent surgeries and procedures on hold,” he said. “We have added four intensive care beds and will be adding three more by the end of the week - 31 beds in total.

“But resources are limited, and may not be enough if the demand continues.”

While it’s been a long road and we’ve all missed our families and friends, Vandewall says now is not the time to give in to pandemic fatigue and let our guard down.

“There are skeptics who will try to convince you that this is all unnecessary,” he said. “I can assure you, they are wrong. If this upward trend continues hospitals will be overwhelmed.”

Burlington Mayor Meed Ward echoed the plea for help to slow the spread of new infections and protect the hospital from being overwhelmed.

“Our hospitals across the province are almost at the breaking point and that means all of us have to pull together to do our part,” the mayor said. “Only go out for essential trips like the grocery store, pharmacy, trips around the block in your own neighbourhood, and please do not gather with anyone you don’t live with.

“We all must continue to follow these measures, and I know it’s been a real and tough long year with many sacrifices that we’ve all made. We’re not out of the woods yet. We can’t let our guard down now, so I’m asking all of you just to hang on for a little bit longer and do our part.”

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support the community through this unprecedented emergency. Updates are provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

 

 

JOSEPH BRANT HOSPITAL PHOTO

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