CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) has announced that it will be scaling back on non-urgent surgeries due to the strain that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is putting on the local healthcare system.
“Both the high prevalence of COVID-19 and low vaccination rates in the community are having a debilitating effect on our hospital and healthcare services. At this time, we must minimize the amount of people in hospital beds for non-urgent reasons so we can continue to provide care and operate on those who need it most,” said Dr. Garry Weinberg, Chief of Surgery at CCH.
This means that the CCH will close some operating rooms, and will only be scheduling surgeries for those in life-threatening situations, where life and limb are at risk, or high priority elective surgeries where the surgeon deems it will have a significant impact on quality of life.
Not only is the CCH dealing with a number of COVID-19 patients, they also have a high number of long-term care patients who cannot be transferred to long term care facilities due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 12, the CCH had six COVID-19 patients in their Critical Care Unit (CCU). Across the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) region there are 17 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and there are six long-term care facilities that are experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, five of which are in Cornwall.
“Local patients in need of surgeries or alternate care are depending on our community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been proven to be effective at lowering the risk of being infected yourself or infecting others. If more people in our community were vaccinated, we’d see less community infections and hospitalizations, and surgeries that patients have already been waiting months for would not have to be further delayed,” said Dr. Weinberg.