Area hospitals: Emergency room not for COVID-19 testing

Staff Report
Healthcare workers get information from people lined up to be tested at a COVID-19 testing site in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on Dec. 20.

Capital area hospitals have advised those in need of a COVID-19 test should avoid emergency rooms.

Both Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake released statements concerning increased wait times for patients who are injured or seriously ill amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases throughout Louisiana.

As a Baton Rouge General spokesperson stated, an increase in demand for testing has been seen across the area and emergency rooms should be reserved for emergency care and patients experiencing severe medical issues.

An Our Lady of the Lake spokesperson said many patients have come to hospitals searching for tests and seeking guidance on mild symptoms.

BRG advised those with mild symptoms to contact their primary care doctor, use a community testing site, or visit an urgent care. Patients experiencing severe issues such as difficulty breathing and stroke symptoms should go to an emergency room or call 911.