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UPDATE: Significant damage caused by flood at Listowel hospital

LISTOWEL – A flood caused by a broken watermain at Listowel Memorial Hospital overnight Sunday has caused significant damage to the first floor of the building.

Hospital CEO Karl Ellis provided an update on the situation Monday evening. He said that most of the standing water has been removed from the hospital, however, a significant amount of silt remains throughout the first floor.

Due to the damage, restoration experts, structural engineers, environmental hygienists and insurance adjusters have been contacts and on-site at the hospital.

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Ellis said that plans are being developed to relocate the hospital’s emergency room to the ambulatory care space in the hospital beginning Wednesday. This will allow restoration to take place in the emergency room.

“We are open for emergencies and urgent care, and encouraging other patients to seek care elsewhere,” wrote Ellis. “Space is limited and wait times are expected to be longer.”

As a result of the relocation of the emergency room, ambulatory care services will be ramped down and patients will be contacted if their appointments are cancelled.

Operating room procedures will continue as scheduled.

Caregiver presence at the hospital will continue to be encouraged, Ellis said, and visitors are being asked to delay visits until further notice.

Two of the four elevators at the hospital remain out of service.

Ellis emphasized that there are no concerns about the roof or structural integrity of the building, however, there is significant damage in the maintenance shop and some other cracks throughout the hospital that require repairs.

Also, the COVID-19 testing centre will move to the basement of the outpatient building beginning Tuesday.

Ellis stated that the recovery and work at the hospital “will take weeks” to complete. The damaged drywall and flooring will need to be removed and replaced, and all electronics with suspected water damage are to be tested.

“This work will be done while we endeavour to safely operate the hospital,” he wrote.

Ellis commended the teamwork and resilience of hospital staff in light of Monday’s events.

“There was an outstanding display of teamwork and resilience today by hospital staff,” he said. “An exceptional group of people worked very hard today to continue providing safe care in very diverse conditions.”