South Bruce Grey Health Centre will be caring for all of its COVID-19 patients in separate units at its Walkerton and Kincardine hospital sites, at least at first, the hospital corporation announced Wednesday.
Transfer of all non-COVID patients out of those hospitals and into beds in Chesley and Durham hospitals began April 3. Since Monday, all patients requiring admission for reasons other than COVID-19 are going to Chesley and Durham.
If designated COVID acute-care units in Kincardine and Walkerton hospitals become full, Chesley and Durham hospitals would then begin to accept them in designated spaces, a hospital news release said.
“Evidence is showing that having separate units to manage patients with COVID-19 is an important first step, allowing for distinct separation of patients that do not have COVID and may be at higher risk for serious symptoms,” said Angela Stanley, vice-president of clinical services and chief nursing executive, in the release.
The hospitals have been discharging patients over the past three weeks to help create capacity. Michael Barrett, president and CEO of SBGHC said in the release that patient volumes are “quite low” now.
The hospital corporation is opening new beds at all four hospital sites. It typically staffs 66 beds but in 1998 the corporation had more than 180. With internal changes, 16 new beds are “ready to go, and (SBGHC) can open another 29 beds should the situation escalate and these beds are required,” the release said.
The recovery centres opening in Kincardine at the Davidson Centre and Hanover at the P&H Centre would be used if the capacity of the hospital is exceeded, the news release said.