TORONTO -- Nearly 140 patients have been transferred out of Brampton Civic in the last week alone as the city continues to deal with high COVID-19 case counts that have put an immense strain on its lone hospital.

Mayor Patrick Brown shared the number with reporters during his weekly briefing on Wednesday.

It comes on the heels of a team of health-care workers from Newfoundland and Labrador being deployed at Brampton Civic on Tuesday to provide assistance.

“Everyone knows since the start of the pandemic our hospital has been full, they've been at capacity and our frontline physicians and nurses have had to go above and beyond to handle the volume. But the real figure that highlights the capacity challenges in Brampton are the number of patients that have been transferred out to other hospitals,” Brown said. “Just in the last week there has been 139 patients transferred to other hospitals. Think about that. That is 139 patients more than our hospital can handle in totality that have been transferred out in order to support the capacity at Brampton Civic.”

Brown said that as of this morning there were 69 COVID patients at Brampton Civic, including nine in intensive care. There were also another 43 suspected COVID patients awaiting test results.

Brown said that most of the patients that have been transferred out of Brampton are now receiving care at other hospitals in the region, including Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Mackenzie Health in Vaughan and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

The regular patient transfers are occurring despite signs that the third wave of the pandemic could be starting to turn a corner in Brampton.

Brampton’s test positivity rate over the last week stood at 18.7 per cent, down from more than 22 per cent two weeks prior.

All of its adult residents are also now eligible to be vaccinated due to the fact that the entire city falls under one of Ontario’s 114 hotspot postal codes.

“There are early indications that our curve is starting to bend but I must reinforce that this trend is early,” Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh said during Wednesday’s briefing. “We had been here before in the other two waves and we know that we cannot let up. Success depends on continuing to limit our contact and interactions while getting vaccinated.”

Loh said that he is “hopeful” that Brampton will “start to turn the corner on this wave” in the next few weeks and that the increased availability of vaccines will ensure “that this time is different” and that the city won’t see another surge in cases and hospitalizations.

In the meantime, he urged residents to continue following public health advice and that means refraining from gathering with people outside your household to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend.

“On Sunday, I wish to honor all the incredible mothers out there, many of whom are frontline heroes that provide for their families while serving our community every single day. We also know that COVID has robbed us of too many mothers and I honor their memories. I hope that we can all commit to doing our part to stay safe and to get our shots, so that this is the last Mother's Day we have to celebrate virtually through computers,” he said.