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A sign for a hospital in Montreal, on Feb. 6, 2022.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

A hospital network in central Ontario says it is seeing patient volumes surge to as high as 150 per cent of their capacity.

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare says in a statement this week that beds at their two hospital sites are full, and they are caring for patients wherever they can find space.

Diane George, a hospital vice-president, says theirs is one hospital network among many across the province dealing with “dramatic surges and ongoing staffing challenges.”

Hospitals around Ontario have faced staffing shortages, with many forced to implement temporary emergency room closures as a result – an ER in Minden had to permanently close, and urgent care centres in two Niagara Region communities have stopped operating overnight.

Last year during the fall and winter respiratory virus season hospital capacity was acutely strained, particularly in children’s hospitals.

The Muskoka hospital says patients can help too by ensuring emergency departments are used for real emergencies.

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