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Residents reminded to follow COVID-19 safety measures as region's health care system 'stretched to the limit'

Medical Officer of Health and CEOs of hospital across region release statement in wake of third lockdown
April 6, 2021
Aileen Zangouei

York Region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji, and hospital CEOs across the region are reminding residents to follow public health measures this long weekend.

This reminder comes in the wake of the third lockdown which is in effect April 3 at 12:01 a.m. across the province of Ontario.

The CEOs of hospitals involved in this statement are Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and Mackenzie Health in Richmond Hill.

"Today's announcement of another province-wide shutdown reinforces the need for each of us to do our part to slow the spread of the virus in our region, our hospitals, our communities and in our individual homes," the joint statement from Kurji and CEOs of hospitals from across the region, reads.

Residents are reminded that as celebrations for Passover and Easter begin and the coming of the April school break, it's "vitally" important that all residents follow public health measures -- staying home, avoiding social gatherings with those outside your immediate household, wearing a mask, social distancing.

The safest way to celebrate the holidays is virtually, and the virtual method of celebrating will also play a role to help slow the spread of this virus in the region.

According to the joint statement, the COVID-19 variants -- which spread more easily and have the potential to cause a more severe outcome -- are circulating throughout the communities and intensive care admissions are the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic.

"Stretched to the limit" is what the joint statement said the health care system is at amid the pandemic. "Hospitals are preparing to start reducing surgical procedures again to preserve hospital capacity to avoid tragic situations that we have seen in other jurisdictions where demand for ICU care has surpassed the number of beds available," the statement reads.

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