By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – The Chatham Voice
Another Chatham-Kent resident succumbed to COVID-19 recently, bringing the local death toll from the virus to 35.
The latest person to perish was a man in his 60s. He died in a hospital outside of Chatham-Kent.
The number of people being treated for COVID-19 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on Monday totalled 31 – all of whom are local residents.
Of the 31 cases, 15 are occurring in non-vaccinated patients.
The average age of inpatients is 73 years.
As of Monday morning, ICU occupancy was at 70 per cent, with six patients on ventilators. Four of those are COVID-19 positive.
Occupancy of medical, surgical and critical care beds is at 94.2 per cent.
The high number of COVID-19 patients has been putting increased pressure on the hospital in recent weeks as the highly transmissible omicron variant makes its way through the municipality.
CEO and president Lori Marshall said the hospital is “continuing to cope.”
Marshall told a municipal media conference that patient flow continues to be a challenge, adding patients are sometimes stalled in the emergency department until a bed becomes available.
The redeployment of staff, and surgery reductions are part of the juggling act, Marshall explained.
She reiterated what she calls her “normal refrain,” calling on the public to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as it is the “best possible defence.”
CK Public Health reported 215 new cases after the weekend and one new outbreak, bringing the number to 13.
The outbreaks are a mix of congregate living settings such as group homes, long-term care homes and retirement homes.
The two largest include Hudson Manor in Tilbury with 26 people affected and Park Street Place in Dresden with 17. Hea