Record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations strain southwestern Ontario health-care system

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CHATHAM, Ont. — A southwestern Ontario hospital is cancelling elective surgeries as it redeploys staff to tackle record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance says the change will take effect on Thursday.

The hospital says its intensive care unit was at 100 per cent capacity and overall occupancy was at 92 per cent capacity as of Tuesday.

It says staff must be redeployed to high-need areas as the hospital prepares to take patients from nearby Windsor, Ont.

Windsor Regional Hospital says more people are hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic, and some other patients will be transferred this week over a lack of beds.

The hospital says its aging facility creates difficulty during the surge because there isn’t enough room for all COVID-19 patients to isolate safely.