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New temporary hospital site ready to go, if needed

St Mary’s of the Lake. Photo by Samantha Butler-Hassan.

A new 70-bed facility is ready and waiting on standby if needed, according to Kingston Health Sciences Centre. The unveiling was made on the afternoon of Monday, March 29, 2021.

The facility would provide care for non-COVID, and medically stable patients who would still require clinical support before discharge. It would be used in the event of an increase in COVID-related hospital visits should the city’s current hospital care system become overrun.

“No one wants the surge in COVID-19 activity that would trigger the opening of the Union Street Site, but we are well prepared if called upon by the Ministry,” Dr. David Pichora, president and CEO of KHSC said in a news release. “We now have a strong safety net of space, staffing and services in place that would help us to continue providing the same level of medical care that patients receive across KHSC.”

The release goes on to say that the temporary facility is fully stocked and ready to go with supplies, equipment and technology. It also adds that medical and support teams are prepared to move rapidly to the new site if needed.

The new 24,500-square-foot temporary health site is located on property owned by Queen’s University, which is now leasing the former Gibson Wing to Providence Care for a new transitional care centre that will open in 2021. KHSC will use a portion of the main floor for the alternate hospital facility as part of its COVID-19 pandemic preparedness plans.

“We are grateful to Infrastructure Ontario, Queen’s University and Providence Care for their support,” says Pichora. “It is vital that we have the tools at hand to respond to whatever the pandemic brings and these partnerships have made additional capacity possible if COVID-19 challenges our resources.”

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated by KHSC is currently eight, including one local case. This is double the caseload KHSC was carrying last week, with four cases being treated in KHSC hospitals on Friday, Mar. 26, 2021.

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