Work continues on a temporary hospital unit in the parking lot at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. (John Crupi/CTV News Ottawa)

Construction is underway on a new, 40-bed temporary unit in the parking lot at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus.

On Saturday, workers were seen building the tent structure in the east parking lot at the hospital, between the main campus and Grimes Lodge.

Last month, the Ottawa Hospital said the 40-bed temporary unit will "increase hospital capacity, and help with patient flow throughout the hospital."

The Ontario Government is investing $16 million for the new "Emergency Department Ambulance and Offload Transition Unit Facility."

The new ambulance offload area will have 20 bays to enable paramedics to transfer patients to hospital care safety. There will also be 20 medicine transition beds for admitted patients to move from the emergency department to an inpatient unit.

"This unit will allow us to create capacity within the hospital, and ensure patients receive the care they need," said a statement from the Ottawa Hospital last month.

"It will also decrease wait times for patients in the Emergency Departments, as well as reduce ambulance offload times, and allow our paramedic partners to return to the community quickly.

According to the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, Ottawa's hospitals were at 97 per cent capacity on Nov. 18, and 86 per cent of ICU beds were occupied.

Construction on the new unit is expected to be completed by the end of the year.