BRANTFORD -- Officials at Brantford General Hospital say a surge of post-holiday patients has put the hospital over capacity.

Many patients are coming to the hospital with respiratory illnesses, like flu, pneumonia or bronchitis.

The Brant Community Healthcare System is funded for 295 beds; as of Thursday, about 320 beds were filled.

That means that some patients can face wait times of up to three hours.

Officials in Brantford say this is a problem that's being felt across Ontario.

"We often see this phenomenon after the holidays, people who aren’t feeling well but want to stay home as long as they can through the holidays," explains Martin Ruaux, vice president of clinical operations.

"Then realize they are too sick and present in the emergency department, a pattern that is seen all across the province, in fact probably beyond the province."

On Thursday morning, the emergency room wait time was between 50 minutes and two hours, but the most recent information the hospital had was from November and indicated that most patients had their first assessment by a physician or nurse in 4.8 hours.