Waterloo Region & Wellington County | January 21, 2022 – Below is the Waterloo Wellington COVID Report for Friday, January 21, 2022 that local hospitals have committed to jointly providing on Tuesdays and Fridays. In today’s report, we have shifted how we are communicating occupancy across our hospitals. In the past three days, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients in our care with COVID jumping from 166 reported on Tuesday, to 208 patients. This trend is consistent with what the healthcare sector is experiencing provincially, not unique to our community. As we continue to see increased need for patients seeking care with COVID across our community, today’s report reflects the impact of what the increases mean in relation to the number of beds available to provide care. The data tells us that as of 9am this morning, we are currently seeking 57 additional beds for patients today. For context, this is about the third the number of beds of some of our hospitals in the region. Even though we have more patients than beds available, anyone in need of emergency care is encouraged to still come to their closest hospital. Our teams are working together as a system of care to identify spaces by opening non-traditional spaces across our hospitals. We are able to do this through the ramp down of services, as directed by Ontario Health through Directive 2, and because staff are starting to return to work sooner. We are seeing a decrease in the number impacted by COVID from 509 to 388 staff over the past three days. This is positive news and is the result of our mandatory vaccination policies and the positive impact that this is having on lessening the severity of the disease. However, it is very dynamic, and the number of staff off varies day to day. Given the consistent increase in patients, our ability to bring staff back to work, healthy and safely, is more critical than ever. “The jump in three days of patients being admitted to our hospitals from 166 to 208 demonstrates that this region is on the ascent of the hospitalization curve this wave. We appreciate the ongoing cooperation across our hospitals and with community providers to help each other cope day to day and create additional space to care for all patients in our community. As well, we remain grateful to our community who continue to do their part in supporting the current health measures in place. It helps to blunt the impact on our health system given what we are seeing in this region currently.” - Lee Fairclough, president, St. Mary’s General Hospital and Waterloo Wellington hospital regional lead, COVID-19 response.