KITCHENER -- The average wait times for one K-W hospital are reportedly getting even longer.

In a statement released Monday, Grand River Hospital says they are experiencing a higher than average number of patients coming into the emergency department.

The hospital attributes the increase to patients coming to emergency experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, those with injuries caused by slips and falls in winter weather, and individuals with chronic illnesses who are feeling worse than usual.

Since mid-December, the emergency department has seen an average of about 200 patients each day, which is about 17 times more than the average number of patients from April to October.

"I came Sunday for an issue, waited five hours, was told there was one person ahead of me, waited another hour, and was told there were four people in front of me," said emergency room patient Richard Cracknell. "After seven hours of waiting I just went home."

The hospital says they saw 233 patients in the ED on Jan. 1. The most patients previously reported in a single day over the past five years was 235.

GRH advises patients get their flu shot, wash their hands regularly, visit a walk-in clinic if the matter is not urgent, and check the emergency wait time online to avoid hospital visits.

The wait time to see a physician or nurse practioner on Wednesday around noon was listed just over three hours, according to the hospital's website.