WINNIPEG -- As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise within the St. Boniface Hospital, the hospital says the unit where the most critical patients are cared for is now overcapacity, and surgeries may need to be cancelled.

On Thursday evening, the hospital said all 14 beds in its Intensive Care Medicine Surgery (ICMS) unit were full.

The hospital has had to admit a patient into the Intensive Care Cardiac Surgery (ICCS) unit, but said this unit is not able to take any more patients because it is short-staffed due to an exposure to COVID-19.

“At this point in time, more than half of the patients needing critical care are COVID-positive,” the hospital said in a statement.

“We know that patients being treated for COVID-19 remain in intensive care for longer periods of time than other critical care patients. This puts additional pressure on our capacity.”

The hospital said it cannot expand capacity without cancelling more surgeries, which would allow more staff to treat intensive care patients. It said this decision is still being considered.

The hospital said the Health Sciences Centre tertiary care facility and the Grace Hospital acute care are working to create capacity for a 'surge' of patients needing critical care.

This comes as the hospital continues to struggle with outbreaks of COVID-19 on three units. As of Thursday, the hospital said 25 patients and 11 staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

There have been four deaths connected to the outbreaks, which includes one patient who was transferred to the St. Boniface Hospital related to the outbreak at the Victoria General Hospital.

As of Thursday, there are 78 people in Winnipeg hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 10 people who are in intensive care.

CTV News has reached out to the St. Boniface Hospital and Shared Health for comment. 

This is a developing story. More to come.