Hamilton’s health-care providers are teaming up to open a temporary health facility in the city’s core in an effort to increase capacity ahead of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) Satellite Health Facility (SHF) will be located at 150 King St. E. in Effort Square.
The new facility will be set up to care for patients who do not require hospital care and are awaiting transfer to a ‘community-based location.’
The facility is expected to be staffed by interprofessional clinical teams as well as primary care physicians, according to a joint HHS and SJHH press release sent Thursday (Oct. 1).
The tentative launch date is the week of Oct. 19, 2020.
“The new Satellite Health Facility will allow us to support patients who are waiting for alternate care arrangements in the community, while reserving in-hospital space for those with the most urgent medical needs,” said Rob MacIsaac, president & CEO, HHS in the release.
“Protecting acute care capacity in our hospitals is more important than ever as we contend with a global pandemic while at the same time entering the 2020-2021 infectious season.”
On Sept. 25, the Ontario government announced $741 million in funding to help address service backlogs across the province and support health-care capacity-building initiatives, including the establishment of alternate health facilities.
The SHF is one of several local, hospital-led initiatives aimed at ensuring there are beds for patients who require hospital care should there be a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“With the province experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, we are grateful to the Ministry of Health for its support as we continue to prepare for a potential surge in hospital cases locally,” said Melissa Farrell, president, SJHH.
“As always, our goal is to provide quality care for patients in a safe setting. This initiative will help us ensure patients receive the right care in the right place, while supporting the needs of our community during the pandemic.”
On Wednesday, the province released their latest COVID-19 modelling for the weeks and months ahead.
According to the model, Ontario is currently on a trajectory to have 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day in the first half of October.
The data shows that cases are currently doubling approximately every 10 to 12 days.
It also predicts that Ontario may see between 200 and 300 patients with COVID-19 in ICU beds per day if cases continue to grow at its current pace.
In April, Ontario’s projections said the pandemic death toll could range from 3,000 and 15,000 people depending on the actions taken by the government and members of the public.
The Public Health Agency of Canada released its own latest modelling last week, predicting up to 9,300 deaths across the country by early October if the current trajectory of the epidemic continues.