Rotorua Hospital is at capacity today and people are being asked to only go to the Emergency Department if it is a real emergency.
The hospital is not expecting to have many discharges and with patients already waiting in ED until a hospital bed is available, the situation is not expected to improve quickly.
Many of the hospital admissions are for winter type illness, including bronchiolitis, asthma and influenza.
Hospital staff say a number of people coming into the ED would be better placed heading to Lakes PrimeCare, the after hours medical centre in Rotorua.
There is no charge at Lakes PrimeCare for children under 14 who are enrolled with a local doctor. The after hours and urgent medical centre is open from 8am until 9.30pm each day.
A Lakes PrimeCare spokesperson said half the patients coming in so far today for treatment were children, many of them with flu-type or respiratory issues.
Medical advice is also available by telephone if you or your whānau are unwell. The free service is available 24/7 0800 611 116.
Dr Vijay Thumma from Rotorua ED said people with flu-type symptoms were often better off staying at home, tucked up in bed with plenty of fluids and paracetamol.
If the symptoms persisted or got worse, then he suggested people made an appointment to see their GP during the week.
He added with the onset of flu season, it was also really important to remember the basics, like covering your cough and washing your hands often, to stop the spread of germs.
He said people should remember to stay home from work and school.