KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region’s hospitals will scale back non-urgent surgeries starting Monday, to prepare to take patients from outside the area this week.

Local hospital officials say they have been contacting patients who may be affected, and patients should not contact them.

Anyone with an appointment that hasn’t been postponed is being advised to still attend it.

St. Mary’s Hospital president Lee Fairclough says with extra resources, they will consider redeploying teams to other service areas or hospitals.

“We have lots of experience with this,” she said. “We have done this before with long-term care homes in the first and second waves.”

The Saturday COVID-19 update for the region lists 18 people in hospital with the virus and four in intensive care units.

Two of the four ICU patients are at St. Mary’s, and Fairclough says they aren’t in a position to take any out-of-region patients at the moment.

Fairclough says they are at 95 per cent capacity with only one extra bed available, adding this why it’s important to think about ICU capacity.

“As a regional cardiac centre, of course we will see many patients that come through that will require some ICU care,” she says.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital tells CTV News it will be ready to take some transfer patients.

Their ICU capacity has expanded from 12 beds to 19, with seven currently occupied.

Grand River Hospital tells CTV News it plans to release an update on their ICU capacity for out-of-region patients on Monday.