Cork University Hospital is urging patients to contact out-of-hours GP services rather than using the emergency department.
The hospital said it was “exceptionally busy” today due to a large number of very ill patients.
In a statement issued on Sunday morning, the hospital said it was “regrettable” that some will likely experience delays but patient care remained “paramount”.
“Hospital management has requested that, where appropriate, the public contact their GP/South Doc in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the Emergency Department if their needs are not urgent,” it said.
The Irish Examiner reports of a marked increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 admitted to the hospital over the last week.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said the hospital has more than 100 nurses out for Covid-19 reasons. One ward in the hospital is now closed, as there were only four nurses available to staff it.
More than 1,900 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Cork over the last two weeks, though an ongoing testing backlog means this figure may be even higher.
There are now 673 coronavirus patients in hospitals across the State, an increase of 92 since Saturday morning.