Coronavirus: Health systems ramping up to prepare for possible influx of patients

While Canadians stay home in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials are working behind the scenes to try to increase the health care system’s capacity to fight the virus.

For more than a week, health officials have urged Canadians to “flatten the curve,” by staying home and keeping a distance between themselves and others to slow down the spread of the virus.

The idea is to spread out the number of cases so health care capacity isn’t overwhelmed all at once.

But there’s a second half to that equation: while Canadians are flattening the curve, health care systems need to simultaneously increase their capacity.

“We’ve done it before. The health care system does it annually with the seasonal flu. We do have the ability to respond to surges,” said Dr. Gigi Osler, president of the Canadian Medical Association.

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