BARRIE, ONT. -- On the day Ontario's top doctor announced some hospitals can resume certain surgeries, CTV's Craig Momney speaks with the Chief of Staff at Stevenson Memorial Hospital about the new orders and reopening safely.

Craig Momney - Dr. Nathanson, thank you for joining us. Some Ontario hospitals were told today they can start doing surgeries and other procedures again. Are we ready for this?

Dr. Barry Nathanson - Well, the backlog of patients who require these necessary procedures is massive and growing every day. So the need is huge, and no one can question the importance of beginning to clear that backlog.

Are we ready, which is really your question, I hope so.

We do have some increased capacity in the system now because of all the work that so many people across the province have done. There's no question that hospitals are full, the demands are still high, but I think it's time to give it a chance."

Craig Momney - You've been working in the ICU today; what is the situation like right now?

Dr. Barry Nathanson - The numbers at most shops certainly in and around the GTA are still very, very high; our units are full. We have a 15-bed unit that's filled with patients who have COVID, and I'm covering critically ill patients who are outside of the ICU, some of whom have COVID, some of whom don't.

Normally this role would be to cover maybe two or three admitted critically ill patients; I have 13 today that I have been handling in addition to new admissions and crises on the ward.

So, the demands are still high; the mood reflects fatigue. There's no question that those of us who provide services are really, really, really tired. That doesn't mean to say that our commitment is diminished, but the fatigue is quite daunting.

Craig Momney - Now, the province has said it won't go back to the colour-coded system when it starts to reopen. What really needs to be done to make sure we don't see a fourth wave?

Dr. Barrie Nathanson - If we follow the science at a policy level and open up in jurisdictions and in locales where things are safe to open, and if we continue to test aggressively so that we know what's going on, then we can start and undergo the process of beginning to open up strategically.

Craig Momney - What do people working in the ICU and critical care worry about with reopening?

Dr. Barry Nathanson – What we're worried about is too rapid, and too suddenly or too unrestricted to non-strategic of reopening that's just not done sensibly.

Were we to see another wave or another influx, we're already struggling to provide the care that we need to provide, and we're depending upon policy makers and Ontarians to make the wisest choices possible for the longest term gains, not just for short term enjoyment and short term gain.