The Montfort Hospital says patients and families are "being increasingly rude" to staff at levels rarely seen before as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

“Rarely before have we seen this level of verbal and physical aggression,” the hospital tweeted on Friday afternoon.

The Montfort sent a series of tweets reminding people that despite the stress of the pandemic, “there is never a valid reason to disrespect a healthcare worker.”

"There's something we need to get off our chest,” they wrote. “Lately, we noticed a trend in the wrong direction.  Patients and families being increasingly rude to our staff.”

"We know being in hospital can be a stressful experience,” the hospital added. “We know there is sometimes a longer wait than we would like it to be. We know months and months of pandemic and restrictions are wearing hard on everyone, and sometimes we take this out on those trying to help us most.

"But there is never a valid reason to disrespect a healthcare worker. We need them to get through this pandemic, and they need your understanding and support."

The Montfort Hospital notes its team of health care professions continue to show up, "day after day even after two years of pandemic, with one goal in mind: provide care."

Last week, the Montfort Hospital said it was following the Ontario government's recommendation to not resume usual volumes after the holiday reductions.  This week, Ontario postponed non-urgent surgeries and procedures to help support hospitals dealing with high patient volumes and staffing shortages during the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Renfrew County medical officer of health Dr. Robert Cushman asked people to stop verbally abusing health care workers.

"Does a receptionist who's been scorned by someone visiting a vaccination clinic have any control over the appointment bookings?” Cushman said. “Does a nurse who has been vaccinating for the past year have any control over the fact that we're trying to give boosters to all of those over the age of 18 in a very quick and short time frame? No, not at all. And is it the health unit's fault that we don't have enough antigen tests or that we have problems with PCR tests and can't test everybody? No. But some people think it's their right."