The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie, Ont., is ramping up surgeries and procedures that have been on pause since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The local hospital is working with other hospitals in Simcoe County and Muskoka to develop a five-phase recovery plan.
The first stage of the plan, which focuses on scheduled surgical procedures, endoscopy and interventional cardiology, began Monday after receiving government approval last week.
“Ramping up is very complex, so RVH’s plan takes a safe, measured and equitable approach to resuming procedures,” hospital president and CEO Janice Skot said in a statement.
“COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, so the ramp-up must be done in a cautious, safe way that protects against the spread of the virus, while ensuring RVH remains ready to respond to any unexpected COVID-19 surges.”
Other procedures are expected to begin again in the coming months as the next phases of the recovery plan are approved.
Since the onset of the novel coronavirus, RVH says it’s kept a few operating rooms open and has performed nearly 1,000 emergency surgeries and vital cancer procedures.
The hospital says its case backlog “won’t be eased quickly” and that hospitals will see a “new normal” looking forward.
According to RVH, infection control measures will be in place at the hospital for “some time.”
These include screening upon entry, enhanced cleaning, masks, swab-testing for any patients with symptoms and visitor restrictions.