Saskatchewan's ICU rate higher than Ontario's during COVID-19 peak, doctor says
An Ontario-based intensive care physician says Saskatchewan's current COVID-19 ICU admission rate is worse than when cases peaked in his own province.
In an interview with CTV News on Monday, Dr. Michael Warner said when adjusted for population, Saskatchewan's ICU rates are higher than Ontario's at the crest of its third wave.
According to Warner, there were 891 COVID-19 ICU patients in Ontario at the peak of its third wave. Saskatchewan's 85 ICU patients would translate to 1075 in Ontario terms.
Warner said the move will help, although he said bringing health-care staff into the province would be more ideal.
"It's a smaller population base so moving six patients will definitely help," Warner said.
Warner said limits on gathering sizes — which Ontario still has in place — would make a "big difference."
"There are large pockets of unvaccinated people in Saskatchewan, where COVID is likely spreading like wildfire," Warner said.
The Ontario physician said he also believes political leaders can play an important role in ensuring the danger posed by the current COVID-19 surge is made clear.
"I think leadership matters, we need to hear from provincial leaders, (that) the situation is serious, not to scare people but so that they can adjust their behaviour accordingly," Warner said.
He said he believes it helped when Ontario premier Doug Ford "told the truth to the people of Ontario about how bad the situation was" during the province’s third and most severe wave of coronavirus infections.
"We don't want COVID to last forever, but we need to acknowledge how bad things are in Saskatchewan so people can adjust their behavior accordingly so we can get through this with fewer lives lost."
A previous version of this article stated Warner was comparing overall hospitalization rates rather than intensive care admissions.