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LETTER: Collingwood hospital staff ask for help as COVID patients increase

If all of us don’t take the necessary precautions to protect our community, our hospital is in danger of being overwhelmed, states an open letter from the hospital's medical staff
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Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. Photo taken in Spring, 2020 Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

The following letter was submitted to CollingwoodToday from Dr. Gregg Bolton, medical staff representative on the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital board of trustees and a doctor at the hospital. This is an open letter to residents in the Collingwood area sent by Bolton on behalf of the CGMH medical staff. 

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To all residents of Georgian Bay:

A day that we had hoped would never come has sadly arrived.  

A concerning rate of COVID-19 has been demonstrated in our community and has been reflected in recent hospital admissions, as high as almost 10 per cent of all patients in Collingwood Hospital this past weekend.  

The surge in patients hits us at a time when all of us would normally be planning Holiday dinners, trips with friends and family, and looking forward to well-deserved vacation time.

As your physicians, we have volunteered much of our time preparing for a day like this all the while hoping it wouldn’t come. We have helped to set up our COVID Assessment Centre.

We have ensured that the hospital continues to have physician coverage and that emergency care remains unchanged.  We have helped set up drive-thru flu shot clinics.

We have helped set up an Alternate Health Facility to offload the Collingwood Hospital. 

We have attended many extra meetings outside of our normal clinical time.

We have kept local family physician offices and the after-hours clinic open for both virtual and in-person visits. Our hospital remains open for emergencies as well as routine, scheduled care. 

But now we need your help.

If all of us don’t take the necessary precautions to protect our community, our hospital is in danger of being overwhelmed and we may not humanly be able to take care of a large influx of patients.

So we ask all of you:

    •    Please shop locally but wear a mask in stores and at all public places
    •    Please maintain physical distancing of two metres 
    •    Please stay in your own household bubble 
    •    Please ask your friends and family not to come visit you this year
    •    Please stay in one location or zone and limit travel between other zones

What we ask of you is difficult. These asks come at a time of year when social events are the norm. A time of year when many of us attend celebrations. And a time of year when we normally enjoy fellowship with others.

But historically, it is also a time of year when our sense of community, and our love for our fellow citizens, has always shone through. This year there is no better way of showing our commitment to our community by following the asks we have of you.  

In this way, you will show that you care enough about our community to keep it safe and healthy.
We promise to continue to do our part to provide the best possible care to you.  

We ask that you help us help you and those you love.

Yours truly,
Gregg Bolton, President, on behalf of the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Medical Staff  

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor. She has 12 years of experience as a local journalist.
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