It is not unusual for ambulances to be tied up at any moment, city spokesperson Brad Ross said. But with workers sidelined by Covid-19 and stretched hospitals delaying ambulance offloading, it was becoming more common.
Like much of the rest of the world, Canada is swamped by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Earlier this month Canada broke its previous one-day record for the highest number of people hospitalised with Covid-19, at more than 4,100 nationally.
About 9% of Winnipeg Police Service staff were on leave due to Covid-19, and the police service said it had reallocated officers from specialised units such as gang enforcement to street patrol.
Ontario regional transit operator Metrolinx cut its service by 15% as 20-30% of its staff were off work due to Cocid-19, spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said.
The city said about 12.8% of its “essential and critical services” staff were off due to Covid-19 as of Monday.
Low-priority calls may be put off and some will go to the fire department, he said.
The Atlantic city of Halifax cancelled bus and ferry trips due to Covid-19 absences.