Elective surgery and outpatient services have been suspended at Naas General Hospital for two weeks due to a number of Covid-19 outbreaks.
The hospital has asked people only to attend the emergency department if “absolutely necessary” as it has been experiencing a high level of attendances in recent days.
People with minor and less urgent medical problems are advised to see their pharmacy, GP or out-of-hours service in the first instance, where possible and appropriate, it said.
The hospital is dealing with a number of Covid-19 outbreaks involving patients and staff.
“The hospital management team have implemented a number of measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff in line with infection prevention control and public health advice and guidance,” a statement from the hospital said.
Paul Reid, the director-general of the HSE, said Naas hospital was under "significant pressure" due to Covid outbreaks.
"We are dealing with a very significant issue in Naas and another couple of hospitals," he told the Oireachtas health committee on Wednesday.
Kildare GP Dr Brendan O’Shea urged anyone in the county in need of medical assistance to contact their GP rather than going to accident and emergency at Naas hospital.
Dr O’Shea told RTÉ radio that if people contacted their GP rather than waiting until the evening or weekend this would help reduce hospital admissions.
He said there was still “a significant volume of service” at Naas hospital despite the suspension of non-emergency surgery and outpatient activity.