OTTAWA -- A new 40-bed temporary unit is now open at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus to help deal with overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ottawa Hospital says the "Offload Medicine Transition Unit" will allow the hospital to "create additional capacity and ensure patients receive the care they need."

"It will also decrease wait times for patients in the Emergency Departments, as well as reduce ambulance offload times, and allow our paramedic partners to return to the community quickly."

Ottawa Hospital

The new unit is located in the east parking lot of the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, between the main campus and the Grimes Lodge.

An ambulance offload area will have 20 bays to enable paramedics to transfer patients to hospital care safety. There will also be 20 medicine transition beds for admitted patients to move from the emergency department to an inpatient unit.

In November, the Ontario Government announced $16 million in funding for the new unit.

According to the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Dashboard, 95 per cent of acute beds in Ottawa hospitals were occupied on Wednesday.