Montreal’s COVID-19 hospital beds likely to be overrun within three weeks: projections
With the number of daily cases continuing to rise, the greater Montreal region could run out of designated COVID-19 hospital beds within three weeks, new Quebec projections warn.
Nearly two-thirds of the region’s hospital beds set aside for COVID-19 patients are now occupied. There’s a “more than 50 per cent risk” the city’s hospitals will exceed their dedicated capacity in coming weeks, the projections show.
The Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) released its latest projections on Thursday.
“For the first time, an overflow of dedicated capacity within the next three weeks seems likely” in the greater Montreal region, the provincial health institute said.
In a tweet reacting to the projections, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said if the trend continues, something will need to give.
“Unfortunately,” Dubé said, “this will have to be compensated for by an additional reduction of non-COVID treatments in our hospitals.”
Outside of Montreal, the INESSS said hospitals are relatively stable, but warned further outbreaks could jeopardize that.
There are roughly 2,000 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients across the province. There were 1,175 infected patients in hospitals as of Thursday.
In an interview Friday, Dr. Judy Morris, president of the Quebec Association of Emergency Physicians, said she feels the situation in hospitals is on the verge of being “out of control.”
Morris said most hospitals have already been working at reduced capacity for various reasons — including outbreaks among staff — and the recent surge in COVID-19 patients is becoming untenable.
“If the trend continues,” Morris said, “hospitals could be reduced to only treating COVID-19 patients for the month of January.”