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A Message to the Community from Joseph Brant Hospital President & CEO Eric Vandewall — April 22, 2021

Joseph Brant Hospital photo.

*Please see below a statement issued by Joseph Brant Hospital President and CEO Eric Vandewall. Please head to the bottom of this post for a video message from Mayor Meed Ward.

Joseph Brant Hospital photo.

April 22, 2021 — Across the province, the hospital system is experiencing significant pressures, as the Variants of Concerns have now become the predominant strain of COVID-19. Hospitals are reaching full capacity. As of today, Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is sitting at 91% capacity.

Last week, the Ontario government expanded the four-week lockdown to six weeks, in the hopes of bringing down case numbers. They are also working to increase critical care capacity and bring in health care workers from other jurisdictions. Long-Term Care homes are expediting admissions for Alternative Level of Care patients, as the need for acute care beds is rising faster than the system can currently accommodate.

At JBH, for over a year we have been preparing for what is happening now – the worst-case scenario. Our teams continue to work hard to review and revise plans for potential situations we may experience. To manage capacity pressures, JBH has enacted a team-based model of care on some patient care units. Team-based care shifts patient care from “I” (i.e. nurse as the “primary” caregiver) to “We”, where nurses are paired with other care providers. In a team approach, each team member’s skills and knowledge are utilized to share the responsibility for meeting patient care needs.

It is all hands on deck to ensure that we keep our patients and our community safe. Yet, as I referenced last week, it is distressing to see continued skepticism on social media and through ongoing anti-lockdown demonstrations. Many falsely contend – still to this day, despite urgent, emotional pleas from the medical community – that the severity of this pandemic is over-inflated.

Today, at JBH we are caring for 33 patients admitted with COVID-19, including several critically-ill patients on ventilators in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Our critical care department is currently working at 160% of its standard capacity, with 9 additional ICU patient beds added in the last week. Some of these patients were immediately hospitalized after going to emergency with symptoms that were non-existent only days prior. These are people with families, loved ones, living their lives before contracting this virus.

I cannot state our current reality more clearly. It is the same reality taking place in hospitals across Ontario, and across parts of this country. The numbers continue to increase daily and we are living and working in extraordinary times.

This is not a time for skepticism, but empathy, understanding and hope.

Because yes, despite the bleakness of this picture, there is much hope.

I’m happy to report that we are actively hiring more healthcare workers. This week, we put a call out to the community to apply for temporary fulltime and part-time Pandemic Assistant positions to help support our clinical teams or assist in our screening stations. Visit www.josephbranthospital.ca for more information and to apply.

This week, we surpassed 13,000 vaccinations administered at JBH, and we continue to vaccinate over 400 community members daily. We will continue to vaccinate as many as we can, based on available supply. I am also encouraged to see eligibility for the Astra Zeneca vaccine expand to the 40-59 age group.

If you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, please remember:

  • Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment – in Halton, visit www.halton.ca/covidvaccines or call 311 to book by phone;
  • If you vaccinate elsewhere (i.e. pharmacy or doctor’s office) and book multiple appointments in an attempt to get the earliest time, please do not forget to cancel your appointments at the other locations. This causes a significant backlog with wait lists and further delays for those waiting to get the vaccine;
  • Read the scientific evidence available online to support that vaccination is a key factor in stopping the virus – Halton Region and the Province of Ontario share evidence and FAQ information; and
  • As always, continue to follow public health measures including washing your hands, wearing a mask, adhering to physical distancing, before and after vaccination.

Thank you again to our community for the ongoing support, encouragement and cooperation. We must take collective action to get through Wave 3. I know that many people are tired and concerned about the road ahead – but together, we are strong and we will rise to the challenge, and we will get through this extraordinary time.

RELATED LINK:

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:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600