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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
April 16, 2021

HHS taking additional measures to create critical care and staffing capacity in response to the third wave

HAMILTON, ON – The pressure within Ontario and on Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) arising due to COVID-19 is escalating rapidly and is unlike anything we have experienced before. Current HHS ICU capacity is at 94 per cent, with 102 beds occupied out of a total of 108.

The effort continues across Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to create capacity for critical care, and to ensure that the team members with the specialized skills and expertise required to care for the sickest patients are available and supported.

As a start, and in accordance with provincial direction, HHS has been ramping down scheduled surgeries and non-emergent, non-urgent activities to be able to free-up staff for the response. This response includes an expansion of ICU beds and inpatient areas designated for COVID-19 patients. During the next several days, HHS will be implementing a series of supplementary measures essential to achieving additional staff capacity for this expansion. This includes the following:

  • temporarily closing the West End Urgent Care Clinic as of Monday, April 19 (the COVID-19 Assessment Centre remains open at this location);
  • temporarily closing the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital operating rooms, and redirecting the site obstetrical service to Niagara Health as of Friday, April 16 at 3 p.m.
  • ramping down Regional Rehabilitation Centre capacity by 50 per cent over the next week; and
  • reducing ambulatory care volumes, where possible.

These measures, while unwelcome by all of us, are necessary to respond to this third and most severe wave of the pandemic.  To-date, approximately 40 staff have been redeployed to help care for those during the third wave.

Patients should continue to attend their appointments. Patients will be contacted directly by their surgeon or a member of their care team if there is a change to their planned care. Our hospitals remain open and safe for everyone who needs emergency care.

We ask that you please register and get vaccinated as soon as you become eligible to do so, abide by public health restrictions that are in place, and continue to practice masking and physical distancing.

More information, including ICU capacity data, has been added to our website at

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For more information, please contact:

Wendy Stewart
Communications & Public Affairs
Hamilton Health Sciences