The COVID-19 crisis has caused a 30% to 40% decrease in ER visits all over Canada, and unfortunately, many patients requiring immediate care are avoiding hospitals because of the risk of contracting the disease. Dr. Gaurav Puri of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket reported multiple cases of patients delaying visits to hospital. For example, a patient with COPD exacerbation waited 2 weeks before visiting the ER and almost needed a ventilator, and there have been cases of patients who have ruptured appendicitis upon presentation at the ER after a week of abdominal pain.
Avery Haines, Alexandra Mae Jones. ‘All of our rooms are empty’: Hospital ERs vacant during pandemic. CTV News. April 29, 2020.