Hawkesbury hospital emergency room closed until January 3

The hospital in Hawkesbury, Ont., said it was closing its emergency department for several days due to an upsurge in respiratory illnesses and a shortage of nurses.

The ER will close at 6 p.m. Friday and is expected to reopen Jan. 3 at 8 a.m., according to a news release from Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

Respiratory illnesses like influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have strained Ontario hospitals in recent weeks, especially children’s hospitals like CHEO in Ottawa.

At Hawkesbury Hospital, the impact has only gotten worse over the past few days and the current situation is “not sustainable,” CEO Frédéric Beauchemin said in the statement.

People in need of urgent care during the shutdown are encouraged to seek care at other nearby hospitals, including Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ont., and Lachute Hospital in Lachute, Que.

The Hawkesbury Hospital birthing center is expected to remain open during the closure.

In its own statement, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell said ambulance response times may be longer than normal over the next few days as paramedics are forced to transport patients greater distances.

Patients also will not be able to choose which hospital they will be taken to during the shutdown, the municipality said.


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