Queensway Carleton Hospital ramps down surgeries and services as COVID-19 cases rise

OTTAWA — The Queensway Carleton Hospital is ramping down surgeries and services as COVID-19 related hospitalizations reach record levels in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health reported 104 patients in Ottawa-area hospitals with COVID-19 related illnesses on Friday, and 33 people in the ICU.  There were 345 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, the sixth time in seven days Ottawa has seen more than 300 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

“QCH has moved to the next stage in its pandemic surge plan and has further ramped down surgeries and services to prepare for the increased COVID needs in Ottawa,” said Queensway Carleton Hospital on Twitter.

“This will make more staff available – including nurses and RTs – for other urgent priorities.”

Effective Monday, the west end hospital is reducing the number of operating rooms to two – one for cancer surgeries and one for emergency surgeries. The hospital has ramped down endoscopy and ambulatory care clinics, with staff moving to ICU, secondary ICU and emergency.

“This is not an easy decision to make. We know this is frustrating for all the patients this decision impacts,” said the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

“Please know we are not making these difficult decisions lightly & will let you know when your appointments are able to be rescheduled as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The Queensway Carleton Hospital had 30 COVID-19 patients on Friday, including 12 in the ICU.

“Our ICU is completely full with COVID-19 patients & we continue to surge into a 2nd temporary ICU. Our ED is seeing an increased number of high acuity patients and a lot require isolation,” said the QCH.

The Ottawa Hospital announced Thursday it’s preparing to implement its “Level 2 surge plans” in the coming days to accommodate upwards of 220 COVID-19 patients.

“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,” said the Ottawa Hospital in a statement Thursday afternoon.

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