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Hospitals call for new COVID-19 restrictions as new cases surge in Ontario

People wearing face masks register before testing at a COVID-19 assessment center of a hospital in Toronto on June 18, 2020. (Zou Zheng/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)
Summary

Ontario Hospital Association says province must move those regions back to Stage 2 of the province's pandemic response


Association President Anthony Dale says hospitals could become overwhelmed with patients if such action isn't taken


The government recorded 700 new cases on Monday, most of them in the GTA and Ottawa


Ontario’s hospitals are calling on the government to reinstate restrictions in COVID-19 hot spots as the province reports its highest daily case increase since the start of the pandemic.

The government recorded 700 new cases on Monday, most of them in the GTA and Ottawa.

The Ontario Hospital Association says the government must move those regions back to Stage Two of the province’s pandemic response, which saw restrictions on non-essential businesses like restaurants, gyms, and movie theatres.

Association President Anthony Dale says hospitals could become overwhelmed with patients if such action isn’t taken.

The call comes after a move by the province on Friday to close all strip clubs and require bars and restaurants to shut down earlier.

Premier Doug Ford also announced that the province will spend an additional $741 million to help clear a backlog of surgeries that has developed at Ontario hospitals during the pandemic.

Dale said hospitals could see occupancy rates rise quickly given the resent surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We can no longer retain a false sense of security and belief that this will not happen to us,” he said in a statement.

“At this rate, Ontario hospitals are facing a direct threat to their ability to continue to delivering the highest quality of care to Ontarians.”

Dale said that the average acute care occupancy rate of Ontario’s hospitals is 89 per cent currently, but some of the facilities are already at 100 per cent capacity.

The government said Monday that 128 people are currently hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 29 in intensive care.