field hospital sunnybrook

Toronto's new field hospital in a parking lot at Sunnybrook expected to open next week

A parking lot turned mobile field hospital at Sunnybrook is preparing to open in Toronto as early as Monday.

Rows of green tents are filling a lot at the north end of Sunnybrook’s Bayview Campus, ready to house recovering and recovered COVID-19 patients.

The construction of the field hospital, known as Sunnybrook's Mobile Health Unit, began in February and is expected to open next week.

"Construction of the Mobile Health Unit is nearly complete, and oversight is beginning to transfer from the contractor to Sunnybrook. It is now being set up for patient care, with plans to open 20 patient beds by the end of April 2021," according to the hospital's Instagram

This mobile unit was constructed in hopes of freeing up space inside of the hospital for specialized resources, such as intensive care, which continue to be overwhelmed by the pandemic.

Once complete, the over 2,000 square metre lot will have the capacity to hold 84 patient beds and all necessary medical supplies.

"It will be staffed by a team of clinical professionals, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals," according to Sunnybrook.

This comes after Ontario broke the daily COVID-19 record with 4,812 new cases on Friday. The number of people in ICU being treated for the virus is now over 650 with over 400 on ventilators. 

Last Monday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa stressed the severity of Toronto's situation during the city's press briefing.

"What we are seeing is the explosive exponential growth described by me and many of my peers when the variants first arrived in Toronto," she said. "The old COVID-19 virus is being bulldozed by the B.1.1.7 variant, with the other two primary variants present in Toronto as well."

Along with Sunnybrook's Mobile Health Unit, Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto General Hospital will also set up patient waiting areas in large tents outside. 

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