WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex retirement homes are preparing for an influx of new non-COVID-19 patients as hospitals look to free up bed space to battle the expected surge in virus cases in the community.

Cardinal Place, located at 3140 Peter St. in west Windsor received a delivery of 15 beds Monday in preparation for new patients from hospitals through a process known as “decanting.”

“We’re basically taking people from one vessel into another safe vessel,” says Mike Cardinal, owner of Cardinal Place. “So we’re looking at the non-COVID patients that are going to be normally coming through the healthcare system anyways. So they need safe places where they can recover from whatever the normal illnesses may be.”

Cardinal Place has hired and trained new personal support workers and registered practical nurses over the past week to prepare for the influx of new temporary residents.

“It’s really hopeful to see the agency, especially the LHIN stepping up and organizing this behind the scenes so that people still get the care they need,” Cardinal says.

It’s one of a handful of retirement homes in Windsor-Essex that have been communicating with the local health integration network on the initiative.

Cardinal anticipates more than 100 beds will be freed up at the hospital, which is expecting local cases to surge in the coming weeks.

He tells CTV Windsor it’s just another case of the community finding solutions to the readily-evolving COVID-19 crisis.

“Of course we’re all feeling an incredible powerlessness in it, so it’s incredible for our team to seeing ourselves as part of the solution, part of a way of addressing the needs that are there,” says Cardinal. “We’re very, very thankful for people’s amazing cooperation with physical distancing. Together we can make sure the vulnerable people don’t get infected.”