Canada has deployed its military to Ontario amid a worsening Covid-19 wave that has caused the positivity rate to hit an all-time high in the province. The government approved Ontario’s request for medical and other support as ICU admissions hit new highs on Monday.
“We have approved a request for assistance from Ontario to provide support to their provincial healthcare system against COVID19,” Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said on Twitter.
“Earlier this month the province issued new stay-at-home orders that were met with some protests. The government doubled down on April 16 when it said it would strengthen enforcement and penalties for those not complying with orders.
Canada said it would deploy federal health human resources, provide support from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and pay for the redeployment of the Canadian Red Cross to support and relieve staff in medical care facilities, a statement released late Monday said.
“The CAF is preparing to deploy up to three multi-purpose medical assistance teams (MMATs), which are scalable healthcare provider teams primarily composed of Nursing Officers and Medical Technicians as well as additional CAF members for general duty support as applicable,” the statement said.
“The MMATs will be rotated in and out of the province rather than deployed simultaneously to ensure that CAF support is sustainable.” Ontario is already using surge capacity in dozens of hospitals, including a few field hospitals that are admitting patients with Covid-19 who do not need intensive treatment or those who have recovered enough to be transferred into the field facilities.