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BGH responding to Omicron surge  – rescheduling all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries, clinic visits and procedures

Brockville – Effective January 5, 2022, Brockville General Hospital (BGH) will be rescheduling all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries, clinic visits and procedures in order to preserve bed and human resource capacity.

The pausing of services follows today’s Province of Ontario’s announcement addressing the rising Omnicom variant and instituting a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. As part of the announcement, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will reinstate Directive 2 effective January 5, which directs hospitals to pause all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries, clinic visits and procedures.

Eligible patients who have surgeries, clinic visits or procedures scheduled for Tuesday, January 4 will proceed. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the Hospital.

As of today, BGH’s patient occupancy is in excess of 100% on our medical/surgical units, with at least half of patients on isolation precautions.

There are currently nine patients at BGH with COVID-19, and five require critical care. Seven of these patients are unvaccinated.

Healthcare workers are facing challenges head-on.

At BGH, our staff and physicians are ready to do their part to support patients. But they are also understandably nervous. Moving into our third calendar year of the pandemic, this is an unparalleled time in healthcare, and for all of our healthcare workers.

The increasing community prevalence of COVID-19 continues to be felt at BGH. Twenty-one healthcare workers are currently off work because they have tested positive, primarily from a household contact, or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Increasing pressures on healthcare mean patient care may look different and that you may be asked to wait longer. This isn’t easy on anyone. The staff, physicians and volunteers at BGH appreciate your patience and understanding at this very difficult time.

How the community can help healthcare workers

We need the community to help us. We ask that every resident in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark follow all public health recommendations. Getting vaccinated including a third dose, when eligible, is your best protection against serious illness. Visit healthunit.org to learn more about eligibility and how to book.

We ask every essential business and organization to please implement and enforce the important safety practices outlined by Public Health.

“Our healthcare workers are facing their biggest challenge yet during this pandemic,” shared Nick Vlacholias, President and CEO. “We are your friends, families and neighbours. Please help us to help you.”

Alternate options to a visit to the Emergency Department

BGH’s Emergency Department is also seeing an increase in patients, and many are presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.

“We ask that our community use the Emergency Department for emergencies only,” continued Vlacholias. “If you have mild COVID-like symptoms, please stay home. If symptoms worsen call your family doctor. If your symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, impact on your consciousness, please call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department.”

All COVID-19 symptoms are outlined in the Province’s COVID Assessment tool, available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment.

As of December 31, 2021, COVID-19 PCR tests are not available to the general public unless you fall in specific groups, as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

For non-urgent health concerns, please contact your primary care provider. If you are unable to get an appointment with your provider, you may call Telehealth Ontario toll-free at 1-866-797-0000. If you require emergency care or are experiencing a mental health crisis, please proceed to the nearest Emergency Department, or call 9-1-1.