An Instagram story recently posted to social media by a medical student shows stretchers set-up in the Montreal Jewish General Hospital garage.

Despite its caption remarking, "So many patients that we have reached [the point] of receiving [patients] in the hospital garage," the hospital clarified that this protocol is not related to Quebec's surging hospitalizations.

Rather, they said it's a COVID-19 precaution that has been in place since the start of the pandemic. 

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Carl Thériault, a media relations specialist for the Jewish General Hospital, told Narcity Québec the garage is being used as a safe transfer area for patients with symptoms of COVID-19.

"The stretchers you see in the photo are in an area of the garage where patients arrive by ambulance at the emergency room," he said.

"The wait time at this location is only a few minutes."

Nevertheless, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé reiterated in a January 5 tweet that the situation in Quebec hospitals is "critical."

Just over two weeks ago, he warned Quebecers that hospital beds were being placed in hotels and banquet halls because COVID-19 patients were nearing capacity. 

According to hospital projection data from the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS), updated on December 31, Greater Montreal area hospitals are likely to exceed bed capacity for the first time within the next three weeks.

This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.

*Correction: An earlier version of this article misrepresented the reason for this particular practice at this particular hospital. It has been updated with correct information.

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