Hospital under pressure - asks that only the really ill attend

By Pepper Parr

January 1st, 2022



The Joseph Brant Hospital put the following on their web site:

Hospital visits

This wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed Joseph Brant Hospital’s Emergency Department under pressure.

Joseph Brant Hospital – under pressure.

If you have mild COVID-19 symptoms, you do not need to come to the ED. Coming to the ED risks exposing vulnerable people to the virus. Call your primary care provider or TeleHealth Ontario for advice on managing mild COVID-19 symptoms at home.

We understand the challenges involved in obtaining PCR testing, but our ED cannot administer COVID-19 tests upon request. If you are eligible under new provincial guidelines, you may book your COVID-19 test at

If you visit the ED, you will be seen based on the severity of your illness. Because of the high volume of patients, many of whom arrive by ambulance, please expect longer than normal waiting times to be seen by a physician.

The JBH Emergency Department is safe and our nurses and doctors are ready to care for those patients who need our help the most. Please help us by saving the ED for emergencies.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

It’s not the most reassuring statement.  A comment from a reader:  “Right now my friend we are all on the same ship and at the mercy of the winds because I don’t think there is anyone at the wheel and if there is he or she does not know how to read a compass and they don’t have any charts to guide them.”

The province no longer has access to the raw data – they have stopped counting the new infections and are instead counting the people who have been admitted to hospital and those in an ICU beds.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Kieran Moore, the Provincial Medical Officer of Health spoke to the public yesterday (Friday) and did his best to assure people that while things were tough everyone is going to have to tough it out while we all deal with a very very contagious virus that does not appear to be as damaging as the Delta version of Covid19.

There will be all kinds of misinformation out there – go to original sources and listen to the details carefully.  We have not faced anything like this before..

The medical people are telling us to wear masks, be with people who are fully vaccinated – get fully vaccinated and stay six feet away from people when you can.

Related news stories.

Medical Officer of Health updates public

Current rules on how the pandemic in Ontario is being managed.   Who gets what and where do they go

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5 comments to Hospital under pressure – asks that only the really ill attend

  • Penny Hersh

    Does anyone else remember when physicians had to cover their patients after hours? It would make a lot more sense and be more effective than using a walk-in clinic or a hospital emergency department that has no access to your medical information.

    I even remember my physician coming to my home in the when I was ill.

    • Tom Muir

      I remember the doctor coming to our house when we were acute. This happened more than a few times for the family. Just call them.

      There was no medical information to access except for paper at the doctors office.

      There was not much pharmacy. Vaccines were few then. Infectious disease was dominant and chronic conditions presented with age.

      I hate to say this, but we are heading for a bad place with the virus mutant Omicron.

      We need to make a great deal of sacrifice of mobility and contacts, going out, strict public health practice, masking, masking children in school (the virus is airborne!), distancing, testing, and contact where appropriate, and this needs to be increased or we are flying blind.

      The health system and key parts of the social support network are showing factual stresses and pressures from the exponential infection growth rising to unprecedented levels, never seen before.

      This exponential acceleration is dangerous as it forms a black hole-like vortex, a singularity, drawing us, like gravity, to where we can’t get out before being overwhelmed with increasing loss of function.

      We are on this heading. We know the best we can do to turn. Get on it.

  • Carol Gottlob

    I just wanted to clarify, in the short time I was there, I overheard one person mention CoVid symptoms (no fever, no cough), but he may have had complicating issues. Most of the people waiting appeared to have injuries/illnesses requiring attention, and with many walk ins closed, emerg would be their only choice. The new waiting area is smaller than the old one, so it felt quite close under the circumstances. Staff were marvellous.

  • Carol Gottlob

    My father spent the day (Jan 1) in emerg. When I went to pick him up, people were coming in saying, “I think I have CoVid”, and then taking a seat in the waiting area, which was quite full. Everyone who comes in is asked to remove their mask and use one provided by the hospital. So you remove your N95 in front of everybody and put on the flimsy blue ones that don’t really fit that well over your face. Kind of makes you wonder…

  • Penny Hersh

    The recurring ask to mask up properly, now with N95 masks as cloth ones do not provide proper protection, to physically distance, to not gather and get vaccinated is not new. Simple requests that if followed would definitely help the situation. So why are we in this present situation?

    In my opinion it is a result of some not taking the situation seriously enough and that thinking that vaccination is the silver bullet that allows us to pretend that life can be lived like before the pandemic. If this was the case why are 3rd and now 4 shots being recommended along with masking etc.

    I.feel that all levels do government have failed miserably and we are now paying the price. Two years down the road once again we are dealing with the same issues, only this time it is worse because there are solutions available.

    Vaccination clinics like the one ar JBH were closed and remain so, The Minister of Health for Ontario tells us to stay home if we feel sick as in all probability have the Omicron variant. To test ourselves after day 5 and 6 of isolation with Rapid Test Kits that are not available.As for transparency – no more reporting of cases.

    No longer can anyone without symptoms be tested as the labs are overwhelmed in processing them. .Only those living in long term or assisted living are eligible. My question why are these labs so underfunded that more staff can’t be hired? We don’t expect this in Canada. How many smugly think that this situation is ia problem in 3rd world countries only?

    Last night JBH posted-on instagram that if you think you have Covid and basically are not on deaths door don’t come to the emergency department. I understand this but my question is WHERE should one go if they live alone and don’t have anyone to help them?

    Proper masks are once again in short supply and the price for proper disposable masks have risen to over $3.00 each, if you can find them.Rapid Test Kits are also not available.

    Local governments are doing their best but as we know everything is controlled by the Provincial Government. Personally I would like to see our Council take a stronger stand. Yes thank the Provincial government for what they are providing but also indicate that much more needs to be done. Go-Vaxx mobile clinics in Burlington for Jan 24 and 31 is definitely not good enough.,and while pharmacies provide these injections IF THEY HAVE THE VACCINE, many have had to cancel appointments because their allotment was not received.

    Where is our MPP, and our Premier. Deafeningly silent. Are they on a holiday vacation? Omicron never goes on vacation.

    Think we are on our own and hope that we don’t get seriously ill and definitely hope that we don’t need elective surgery or perhaps screening testing.

    Seems like we have been down this road before.