WINNIPEG -- The average wait time for people accessing the emergency rooms at Winnipeg hospitals has dropped significantly in the past year, according to the latest numbers from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA).

According to the monthly report regarding wait times, the median wait time at hospitals in the city for October 2020 was 1.23 hours, down from 1.43 hours in September.

At this time last year, the median wait time in all emergency rooms was two hours.

A spokesperson from the WRHA said emergency and urgent care wait times have steadily declined throughout 2020.

"A number of factors may be at play, including lower patient volumes than last year, but it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions during an unprecedented global pandemic," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "As always, we will continue to monitor and analyze all aspects of emergency and urgent patient care over the coming months."

In October, the Health Sciences Centre children’s department saw the shortest average wait time in October, with a median time 0.70 hours for patients. In October 2019, the median wait time was 1.32 hours.

The Grace Hospital had the longest median wait time at two hours. In October 2019, the median wait time was 2.32 hours.

The median average wait time at the remaining Winnipeg hospitals in October can be found below, with the October 2019 total in brackets.

  • Concordia Urgent Care: 1.35 hours (2.43 hours);
  • Health Sciences Centre Adult Emergency Department: 1.43 hours (1.92 hours);
  • Seven Oaks Urgent Care: 1.02 hours (1.72 hours);
  • St. Boniface Emergency Department: 1.23 hours (2.53 hours); and
  • Victoria General Hospital Urgent Care: 1.37 hours (2.18 hours).

The WRHA is encouraging people to seek out hospital emergency care if they need it.

"All Winnipeg hospitals have implemented measures to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors, including restrictions on visitation, staff screening, requirements for personal protective equipment, social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures," the spokesperson said. "Hospitals remain open to serve the public, and anyone with urgent or emergent health concerns should not hesitate to seek care."