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Construction of LHSC field hospital underway to prepare for potential COVID-19 influx


For Immediate Release:
April 7, 2020


(LONDON, Ontario) – As London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) continues to prepare for a potential influx of patients requiring care for COVID-19, work has begun to transform the Western Fair District Agriplex into a temporary off-site hospital. This work is being undertaken in partnership with the Western Fair District and the City of London and is part of the south west Ontario region’s pandemic response plan. 

The off-site hospital will be managed by LHSC. The facility is being prepared for readiness, however, it will activate only if and when the need arises.

“If required, this off-site hospital will be an extension of LHSC and will have the supplies, equipment and technology that staff and physicians require to care for patients, including seamless access to basic lab testing, ultrasound and x-ray capabilities,” said Neil Johnson, Acting President and CEO of LHSC. 

“Our initial plan is for this facility to be used as a step-down unit for patients who are recovering from COVID-19, but not yet well enough to be discharged home.”

LHSC is readying a 144-bed unit with the ability to expand the facility to 500 beds. These additional beds - which would be located in a separate section of the facility – could expand to include other patient groups as needed and determined by LHSC’s pandemic response.

“We’ve said from the start that we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through this together. The level of cooperation between the Western Fair District, London Health Sciences Centre, and the City of London in establishing this facility is a shining example of that spirit. This proactive and collaborative approach will continue to inform our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said London Mayor, Ed Holder.

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 145 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca  

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For media inquiries contact:                            
Kathy Leblanc
Corporate Communications and Public Relations 
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

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