Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that the newly built Cortellucci hospital in Vaughan will be dedicated to treating only COVID-19 patients when it opens in February.
Speaking from the hospital on Monday, Ford called it “the latest addition to our fight against this terrible virus.”
The facility, the first new hospital to be built in Ontario in 30 years, will provide 185 additional beds, including over 35 critical care beds and 150 general medicine beds to support non-critical patients from other hospitals.
It will take in critical care patients from surrounding hospitals to help ease capacity pressures due to COVID-19.
“When we’re in the fight of our lives, this incredible, state-of-the-art hospital is like reinforcements coming over the hill,” said Ford. “It’s relief, it’s added capacity for all those heroes who are stretched to the limit right now.”
Health Minister Christine Elliott added that once COVID-19 capacity pressures have stabilized, the hospital will fully open for regular services.
Ford also announced an additional $125 million in funding for 500 additional surge beds in the hot-spot regions of Toronto, Windsor, Durham, Kingston and Ottawa.
Over the next 10 years, Ford says the government will invest $18 billion to build new hospitals across the province.
The announcement comes as recently released modelling data projects a shocking death toll and massive spike in case numbers if the U.K. variant spreads through the community.
The data shows the variant could cause cases to double every 10 days, potentially reaching a staggering 12,000 new cases a day between late January and March.
Health officials confirmed last week that ICU occupancy is now over 400 beds and as a result more surgeries are being cancelled.
Earlier this month, CityNews heard from cancer patients, their families and doctors who said vital surgeries were being postponed as hospitals struggled with the second wave of the virus.
On Monday, the province reported 1,571 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. There are 394 patients in ICU, with 303 of those on ventilators.