Hospital situation stable in Chatham-Kent

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Leaf

The COVID-19 occupancy at the Chatham hospital continues to be stable, according to the head of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA).

CKHA President and CEO Lori Marshall reported on Thursday that the 10 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is half full and the overall hospital occupancy is at 79 per cent. Marshall said there are currently six patients at the hospital with COVID-19. She added three are from Chatham-Kent and the other three are not. Two of the patients with the virus are in the ICU and on ventilators.

Marshall said CKHA continues to care for some transfer patients from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) but noted some of the transfers this month didn’t stay long and have already been discharged.

“I continue to be prepared for transfers in from the GTA,” said Marshall.

She also said no CKHA staff have been redeployed to help hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots as directed by Ontario Health earlier this month. Marshall added some stepped forward to volunteer but haven’t been needed yet. She also said that non-urgent and elective surgeries are being cancelled to create hospital capacity if needed after an updated directive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on April 21, 2021 because of rising cases.

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported low COVID-19 numbers again on Thursday. The health unit said there are three new cases and two resolved cases to bring the number of active cases to 37. There are also two workplace outbreaks with eight cases between both of the unidentified sites. A total of 150 Chatham-Kent residents are also reported as having a variant or related mutation of COVID-19.

Walpole Island First Nation reported four active cases on Thursday. Their death toll from COVID-19 stands at three.

Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby reported on Thursday that 36 per cent of the local population 16 and older has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The health unit said just over 35,000 doses have been administered by public health to date.

Colby said the municipality continues to make good progress towards herd immunity, which is about 80 percent of the community vaccinated to be immune from the virus.

On Thursday, CK public health expanded vaccine eligibility to include people 55 and over (born in 1966 or earlier). Appointments can be booked at by calling (519) 351-1010.

Colby added the best vaccine is the one that is offered to you first and that all four vaccines approved in Canada are excellent at preventing serious illness, death and transmission.

“If the testing was done when there was a high prevelence of variants in the population tested, it wouldn’t look quite as good in terms of preventing infection,” said Colby. “The vaccines are our ticket out [of the pandemic].”

He also said there have been no local reports of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.