*Please see below (or click the link) for a message from Joseph Brant Hospital President and CEO Eric Vandewall. Please head to the bottom of this post for a video message from Mayor Meed Ward.
A short walk from Joseph Brant Hospital is Spencer Smith Park, a beautiful green space by the waterfront where, in past years, friends and families would gather in large numbers to enjoy the warm weather, music and food festivals and open-air movie nights.
We know how difficult this year has been for everyone — we feel it too. We all want to return to a time when we could enjoy the simple pleasures of pre-pandemic life. But we urge you to be patient, stay home and follow all public health measures. We need your help to avert a crisis.
Across Ontario, we are seeing enormous strain on our hospitals, and (Joseph Brant Hospital) JBH is no exception. The new Variants of Concern have quickly taken hold and are fueling this third wave, causing a rapid surge in cases and hospitalization of patients with more severe symptoms.
At JBH, we are currently at 94% capacity and reached full capacity this past weekend. In just two weeks, the number of COVID-19 patients in our care has more than doubled and continues to increase daily.
We are doing everything we can to make beds available to the rising number of patients – both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 – who require urgent, life-saving care. We have put all non-urgent surgeries and procedures on hold. We have added four intensive care beds and will be adding three more by the end of this week – 31 beds in total. But resources are limited, and may not be enough if the demand continues.
We have been working with our regional and provincial partners in managing COVID-19 care, so that no one hospital is overwhelmed. We have the capability to transition our Pandemic Response Unit – which is currently serving as a Halton Region Vaccination Clinic – back to providing COVID-19 care within 24 hours. We would continue to run the clinic, which has already administered more than 10,000 vaccinations, in another part of the hospital.
Like many of you, our JBH staff and physicians have made enormous sacrifices during the pandemic, and your unwavering support has meant so much. You helped us get through it, and we need your support once again.
Please follow public health guidance. Stay home unless it’s essential, such as buying food or picking up medication. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, physically distance from others and do not gather with anyone outside of your household.
There are skeptics who will try to convince you that this is all unnecessary. I can assure you, they are wrong. If this upward trend continues hospitals will be overwhelmed.
It has been a long road. We are all missing our families and friends and feeling the effects of pandemic fatigue. But we can’t let our guard down.
By following these measures, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19, reduce hospital admissions and the intense pressure on life-saving intensive care resources, so we can continue to be there for you when you need us.
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
Halton Region has also created a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at halton.ca/covidvaccines for up to date information on the status of our COVID19 vaccination program.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at email@example.com or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist