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Local hospitals pause elective surgeries and move to focused COVID-19 testing

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

Local hospitals pause elective surgeries and move to focused COVID-19 testing

December 31, 2021

In response to record high COVID-19 transmission and health human resource pressures, Ontario Health has directed that all hospitals, including Groves Memorial Community Hospital (GMCH) and North Wellington Health Care (NWHC), to pause elective surgeries effective immediately.

Essential surgical procedures will be maintained, such as emergency surgeries. Physician offices will contact any patient impacted by the pause in services. Should a patient have a question or concern, please contact your physician directly.

“These changes are necessary to support continuing essential and emergent care for our patients,” remarks Angela Stanley, GMCH/NWHC President and CEO. “The suspension of elective surgeries and procedures will continue to be reviewed frequently with Provincial health leaders.

Starting December 31, PCR testing in Ontario will only be available for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic or who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People can visit www.ontario.ca/exposed to determine if they are eligible for a COVID PCR test. “The Rural Wellington COVID Assessment Centres will honour any appointments currently booked up to and including Wednesday, January 5th, 2022,” explains Stanley. “Booked patients who are not eligible for a test beyond January 5th will be notified by Assessment Centre staff or the patient can cancel their appointment themselves by clicking the “Cancel/Reschedule” button in the confirmation email they received when they booked.” For detailed information on COVID-19 testing eligibility please visit our website at: www.whcacovid.com

“We also ask that people do not come to the Emergency Department for a PCR test,” states Stanley. “Symptomatic patients should come to the Emergency Department if you require emergency care for COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain. If you do come to the Emergency Department for assessment and treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be tested unless the physician determines it is necessary.”

Media contact:

Brittany Blanchette

bblanchette@whca.ca
519-843-2010 Ext. 47615

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