Hospitals being stretched in Winnipeg due to COVID-19

WINNIPEG — The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba has resulted in less space in intensive care units, and changes are coming to hospitals as part of the new code red restrictions.

Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer with Shared Health, announced Friday that ICU capacity in Winnipeg was at 96 per cent as of Friday, up from 92 per cent on Wednesday.

Of the 71 beds, 68 beds were in use, with 19 occupied by COVID-19 patients.

“The numbers today will strike fear into many Manitobans, and these numbers will have the most resonance with healthcare workers who have stepped forward at the same time we have asked Manitobans to step back,” Siragusa said.

Siragusa said with the increased number of COVID-19 cases, they’re expecting additional hospitalizations, and have started plans to ramp down hospital activity to help deal with the expected increase.

Non-urgent surgical and endoscopy procedures are being postponed starting Monday, with Siragusa noting 99 surgeries have already been cancelled this week due to COVID-19 related pressures, including 72 at St. Boniface Hospital.

In Winnipeg, hospital visits are currently being suspended, with exceptions being made on a case-by-case basis for patients receiving end-of-life care, those in labour and delivery, as well as in pediatrics.

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