Ontario Issues Two Emergency Orders in Fight against COVID-19

By: Laura Steiner
The Province of Ontario has issued two emergency orders in order to support hospitals in the midst of the third wave of COVID-19.  The orders will affect the transfer of patients, and reassignment of staff.
“With Ontario’s hospitals facing unprecedented critical care capacity pressures during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government is taking immediate action to ensure no capacity nor resource in Ontario’s hospitals goes untapped,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
The orders will allow for the transfer of patients between hospitals without their permission, should the hospitals themselves become overwhelmed.  The order impacting staffing requests the voluntary redeployment of staff from the  Home and Community Care Support Services’ organizations to support hospitals.  “Together with the provincewide Stay-At-Home Order, these measures will help to ensure that hospitals continue to have the staffing and resources they need for patients,” Elliott said.  These measures are expected to help increase the province’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity by approximately 1,000 beds
The moves come the same week hospitals were advised to ramp-down elective surgeries effective Monday April 12, 2021. “Every Ontarian must also do their part by complying with the province’s stay-at-home order and public health guidance, and by receiving their vaccination when their turn comes,” Ontario Hospital Association President and CEO Anthony Dale said in a statement.  The province entered a Stay-At-Home order 12:01 a.m. Thursday for a period of at least a month.
Ontario recorded an increase of 3,813 cases of COVID-19 today.  The Region of Halton has increased 100 cases, with Milton counting for 37, and one more death bringing the total to 37.   Halton’s ICU bed occupancy sits at 85% today, with 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  The rates are calculated using the total of Joseph Brant Hospital, Oakville Trafalgar Hospital, and Georgetown Hospital.