Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) will be temporarily closing operating rooms in order to prioritize urgent and high priority elective surgeries as the hospital deals with increasingly high patient volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The surgeries to be scheduled over the coming weeks will be reserved only for life-threatening cancer cases, life or limb patients, or high priority surgeries based on the surgeon’s assessment of the patient’s quality of life.
This will allow CCH to protect its available beds and resources for emergency cases and a variety of non-COVID related healthcare needs.
“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,” explained Dr. Garry Weinberg, Chief of Surgery at CCH.
Currently CCH is dealing with an increased number of patients requiring hospitalization from COVID-19 as the City of Cornwall is seeing some of the highest positivity rates and lowest vaccination rates in Ontario.
There is also currently a large number of patients in hospital beds at CCH waiting for long-term care and other congregate living facilities, but cannot be safely transferred to these settings due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. These healthcare providers are also struggling to accept discharges from the hospital as they are struggling with staffing shortages.
“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,” noted Dr. Weinberg.
CCH would also like to remind residents that although it is normal to seek information and ask questions about immunization, people should be speaking with medical professionals and seeking reliable sources of information to help them make an informed decision on vaccination.
Staff will be calling all affected patients with scheduled surgeries in the coming days.
For the latest updates on CCH services and operations, please visit the hospital website at www.cornwallhospital.ca.