There is only one COVID-19 positive patient being cared for between the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospitals.

“The staff are working exceptionally hard,” Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) CEO Natalie Bubela says.

Both hospitals are running at 100-percent surgical activity after what Bubela calls a “very dramatic” rise of inpatient occupancy that got to “very concerning, over census levels” and forced adjustments to be made. Bubela says staff were moved around to allow for the needed care to be provided. She notes the increase had nothing to do with the pandemic. The inpatients didn’t need the hospital’s care anymore and were awaiting placement at an alternate setting.

The hospitals were back to running at full surgical capacity as of Monday, November 22nd.

Bubela says staffing and occupancy levels are monitored on a daily basis. “Many organizations are facing the same human resources challenges we are,” Bubela says.

On MAHC’s website, 42 job listings are posted as of Thursday, November 25th.

With the holidays – specifically Christmas – fast approaching, Bubela says both sites are prepared to handle a potential surge. “I think there may need to be some adjustments to operations depending on who was contributing to the surge,” she explains. “Is it COVID positive patients, or is it our normal community needs?”

Depending on the answer to that question, Bubela says different plans will be put in place.