ESHC pleads for cooperation as COVID-19 cases rise

Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington. (Photo courtesy of ESHC via Twitter).

Erie Shores Healthcare is urging residents to stick to COVID-19 control guidelines after the hospital reported capacity limits being tested.

According to a release posted on ESHC’s official Facebook page, the Leamington hospital reported an increase of at least a dozen unvaccinated COVID-19 patients admitted over the past week.

“For each COVID patient we discharge, a new one is admitted. A COVID patient in our hospital occupies a bed for an average of six days,” read the Facebook post. “That equals 25 per cent of our inpatient capacity. Our emergency department waiting room is full. Every inpatient bed filled. We have long waits to offload ambulances. We are even being forced to repurpose unconventional rooms into patient rooms.”

The hospital’s COVID-19 assessment centre also reported a positivity rate of 15 per cent, which is five times higher than the provincial average.

The situation at ESHC has also been complicated by an alert from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit about a COVID-19 exposure at a Kingsville restaurant. Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai told that there were over 40 cases tied to the restaurant.

To guard against the possibility of turning away seriously ill patients, ESHC is urging people to get vaccinated if they haven’t been already.

“Over the past two-and-a-half months, over 86 per cent of all of our hospital’s COVID admissions were unvaccinated,” read the post. “If you are eligible for a booster, get one.”

The hospital has also asked people not to gather in large groups, either indoors or out, as community outbreaks only add to the capacity problem. Even with the holidays approaching and people wanting to be with family and friends, the hospital said limiting the size of gatherings may be the best course of action.

ESHC also said if you’re sick, don’t wait to get treated.

“People coming to our hospital now are more sick than usual, and some of these cases are because people waited too long to see their physician,” read the post. “So if you think you need to see a doctor or have tests done, please don’t wait. Early detection can help keep you out of our hospital.”