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Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie, Ont., ramps up surgeries paused due to COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Province gives green light for hospitals to schedule non-urgent surgeries, procedures and tests' Province gives green light for hospitals to schedule non-urgent surgeries, procedures and tests
In March, the Ontario government ordered hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries to reserve resources in case there was a spike in COVID-19 cases. – May 29, 2020

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.

READ MORE: Ontario lays groundwork for scheduled surgeries to resume as coronavirus spread slows

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.

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“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.”

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Other procedures are expected to begin again in the coming months as the next phases of the recovery plan are approved.

READ MORE: Planned surgeries, procedures ‘slowly resuming’ at London, Ont., hospitals

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.

Click to play video: 'Ontario government unveils plan to ramp up elective surgeries' Ontario government unveils plan to ramp up elective surgeries
Ontario government unveils plan to ramp up elective surgeries – May 7, 2020

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