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February 2, 2024

Update on hospital capacity – February 1, 2024

Hamilton’s healthcare partners are asking for the community’s help in preventing the spread of respiratory illness this fall/winter season and preserving access to the city’s urgent care and emergency resources for those who need them most.

As part of this effort, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is sharing regular updates about hospital capacity, and links to stories/health tips to support our community this fall/winter season.

There continues to be a high number of patients needing hospital-based care across all Hamilton Health Sciences’ sites.


  • Visits to HHS emergency departments (EDs) have increased since the same time last year.
    • In January 2024, there was an average of 2,039 visits/week to adult EDs, up from 1,870 in January 2023.
  • Occupancy rates across all sites, and in particular at our adult acute care sites, are consistently >100%.
    • In January 2024, HHS had to operate an average of 82 additional unfunded adult acute beds.
  • The demand for care at McMaster Children’s Hospital is also increasing. While emergency department volumes were lower in January than in December, they are higher than at the same time last year.
    • In January 2024, there was an average of 906 visits/week to the MCH ED, up from 777 in January 2023.
  • Peter’s Hospital and the Satellite Health Facility are also at maximum capacity.


How we’re responding

  • Expanding the use of unfunded, contingency, and surge beds across sites.
  • Expediting patient discharges, where appropriate, in partnership with Home and Community Care.
  • Offering virtual and remote care options, where appropriate, to help patients manage their health at home and avoid ED visits.


Hospital activity – February 1

Funded Occupancy Rates:
Hamilton General Hospital 104%
Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre 112%
McMaster Children’s Hospital 96%
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 119%
ALC Patient Occupancy 260
COVID+ Patients 64
COVID+ Patients in ICU Less than 5
RSV Patients 31
RSV Patients in ICU Less than 5
Influenza Patients 71
Active COVID Outbreaks 5