LONDON, ONT -- The Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie Shores Healthcare are ramping down non-urgent care and elective surgeries in an effort to preserve capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move is being done in accordance with a directive from the Ministry of Health which was made to all Ontario hospitals.

The temporary closures and postponements of surgeries will begin Thursday. Patients who are affected will be contacted prior to their appointments.

The goal of the measures is to free up space in Ontario’s hospitals to deal with the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

“We will continue to assess and make changes based on the evolution of the province’s pandemic response plans,” said Dr. Wassim Saad, WRH Chief of Staff.

Windsor Regional Hospital is asking all clinics and physicians to explore the option of virtual care for their patients during this time.