A Burlington Hospital Prepares a Wing for Expected Surge in COVID-19 Patients

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A hospital in Burlington, Ont., is building a temporary COVID-19 unit in anticipation of a surge of patients.

Joseph Brant Hospital says the structure being built on hospital grounds will have 93 beds.

The hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. Ian Preyra, says the pandemic response unit will allow the hospital to keep its critical care and high acuity beds for the sickest patients.

The Ministry of Health is also allowing all public hospitals to lease or acquire temporary space in institutions or other buildings such as hotels or retirement homes.

The ministry says hospitals could use those spaces to house COVID-19 or other patients.

Hayley Chazan, a spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott, says as Ontario works to contain the COVID-19 outbreak there is a critical need for hospitals to maximize their capacity.