Hawke's Bay hospital has postponed 21 elective surgery over the past two days, as it responds to a surge in hospital admissions.
The hospital's chief operating officer Chris Ash said the hospital was operating in code red.
"Over the past two days the difficult decision was made to postpone and reschedule a number of planned surgeries," he said.
Ash said nine were postponed yesterday , with an additional 12 postponed today .
"No further postponements are expected at this stage.
"As we lead into the weekend, the in-patient capacity picture is expected to improve as planned hospital discharges are made."
He said the hospital was busy due to an increase greater than it would normally expect of patients needing treatment.
"This is due to a variety of medical conditions and injuries and exacerbated by an ageing population, where people present with more complex conditions, require longer hospital stays and more support to be discharged.
"Part of one hospital ward is also being renovated and having its oxygen supply upgraded. This has impacted on hospital bed capacity. This work will be completed in January.
"Patient care and safety remain paramount. To help manage the demand on hospital services, eight beds in the endoscopy unit are being used for overnight ward use."
With one active case at present, Covid was not a factor in the rise in admissions.
Hawke's Bay DHB confirmed a positive community case on Sunday, November 28, saying the person tested positive as part of routine surveillance swabbing when visiting the Hawke's Bay Hospital emergency department in Hastings after feeling unwell.
The case, a staff member at John Bates Wheel Alignment Hawke's Bay, has been isolating ever since.
The Hastings business has closed for 10 days, and all close contacts of staff members have returned a first negative test.
The second test for close contacts was being taken today .
As of today, 91 per cent of the region's population had received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, while 83 per cent were fully vaccinated.
In Napier and Hastings, 91 per cent of the eligible population had received at least one dose, 90 per cent in CHB had received their first dose, and 83 per cent of the eligible population in Wairoa had received one dose.