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Waterloo Wellington Hospital Capacity Report (Omicron Wave) - January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Waterloo Region & Wellington County | January 18, 2022 – Attached is the Waterloo Wellington COVID Report for Tuesday, January 18, 2022 that local hospitals have committed to jointly providing on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Hospitalizations for COVID continue to rise, and this week a picture of the dramatic spike since September is included. From last Friday to today, the net total patients positive for COVID in hospital has increased from 151 to 166, plus many who have resolved continue in our care.

Our hospitals continue to be near full capacity with acute care occupancy reported anywhere from 92% to 98% and St. Mary’s case today, 104%. Patients seeking care at our local hospitals are quite sick and the majority are unvaccinated. ICU in all hospitals are also over 80%, including St. Mary’s that changed today to 81%. All hospitals are actively working to open additional beds in both traditional and non-traditional room spaces (such as surgical recovery areas as temporary wards).

Hospitals continue to cope not only with additional demand for service but staff away from the workplace. Over 500 staff across Waterloo Wellington are impacted by COVID either testing positive or in isolation due to a high-risk contact and unable to come to work. We are grateful that the numbers of hospital staff impacted by COVID has decreased since last week, from 570 to 509. Vaccination against COVID-19 has resulted in mostly mild illness for staff, and faster returns to work.

As a system of care, Ontario Health provided additional directives to provincial hospitals in response to the situation. Directive 2.1 enables hospitals to implement new models of care, transfer or accept out-of-community patients and prepare to redeploy staff to non-traditional spaces. However, even if beds and additional spaces were to be added, staffing these beds remains the largest challenge to date.

“The number of patients requiring care continues to outpace our resources. You need only look in the faces of the staff and patients in our hospitals including those in stretchers lining our hallways, to understand the tremendous pressures we are facing. From this vantage point, we see that Omicron is serious and is not through with us yet. Vaccination continues to be one of our most impactful tools against more severe infection. Thank you to the community for continuing to do your part by getting vaccinated and limiting any unnecessary contacts.”

- Lee Fairclough, president, St. Mary’s General Hospital and Waterloo Wellington hospital regional lead, COVID-19 response.

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More Information:

Stephan Beckhoff
Manager, Public Affairs & Communications
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
t: 519-621-2333 ext. 2427 | m: 519-654-8334


Cheryl Evans
Manager, Communications and Engagement
Grand River Hospital
t: 519-749-4300 ext. 3880 | m: 226-749-0689


Alison Armstrong
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Wellington Health Care Alliance
Groves Memorial Community Hospital
North Wellington Health Care
519-843-2010 ext. 47614


Perry Hagerman
Senior Communications Specialist
Guelph General Hospital
519-837-6440 ext. 2774


Dayna Giorgio
Manager, Communications
St. Mary’s General Hospital


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