KITCHENER -- Officials with Grand River Hospital say they've taken in nine patients from hospitals in the GTA.

They have also accepted patients from area hospitals, but didn't confirm a number from those hospitals. All transfers are critical care patients, officials said,

"These types of patient transfers happen all of the time, and are not limited to critical care," a statement from hospital officials said in part. "COVID has increased capacity challenges across the province for hospitals. As a result, we are experiencing an increase in patient transfers."

They say the hospital sometimes receives patients and sometimes needs to transfer to other hospitals when they reach capacity.

Decisions on patient transfers are made at the provincial level, GRH officials said.

"Overall, the goal is to create as much capacity as we can, maintain safe care, and minimize disruption to patients and families," the statement said.

St. Mary's General Hospital officials said they had three ICU beds as of Thursday morning and that they need be mindful of accepting cardiac patients. They haven't received any transfers from outside of the region.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital has added two ICU beds as part of its surge capacity and currently has 14 ICU patients. Officials also said they're at 94 per cent capacity for medicine beds and have nine COVID-19 patients, with five in the ICU.

They haven't received any transfers locally or from out-of-region.