With COVID-19, we are reminded that, on many levels, we are all connected.

Our priority is the health and safety of the people of PEC as well as those living across the Quinte region.

Quinte Health Care (QHC) is planning for an unprecedented public health threat across our entire region that will impact all four hospitals within our healthcare system. It is anticipated that this global pandemic will present itself with exponential growth in our community over the next week, possibly days.

Significant preparations have been made at PECMH already. Region-wide and here in PEC, we all have a social, professional and moral responsibility to do what we can to help.

The financial impact on our healthcare system in Quinte is unknown. However, we do know it will be significant. QHC is working hard to ensure every hospital site has the equipment, facilities and human resources required to ensure our hospitals can meet the anticipated surge in demand. This includes the closure of clinic spaces at BGH to transform them into additional ICU space.

QHC expects that some of these costs, salaries, for example, will receive provincial government funding. Other costs likely will not be covered; the acquisition of medical equipment, transformation of spaces, PPE and supplies, for example. QHC will be expected to find funds to cover those extraordinary costs.

This is why our Foundation has set up a PECMHF-COVID-19 Relief Fund. Donations directed to the PECMHF-COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used wherever funding is needed in the QHC 4-hospital system to treat COVID-19 patients and to help save the lives of those living in PEC and beyond.