Two things are undoubtedly true in Washington, D.C.: 1. Many people are scared of the omicron wave, and 2. There are not nearly enough COVID tests to meet the demand. This combination has created a problem that may end up having deadly consequences: Emergency Rooms packed with patients who are there solely to get a COVID test.
According to the Washington Post, D.C. area hospitals are begging the public to stop. “Do not come to the hospital looking to get tested,” a spokesman for the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center told the Post. The spokesperson said that the hospital currently has wait times as long as eight hours due to people who “frankly don’t need to be there.”
Hospitals in Northern Virginia are also feeling the strain, leading Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association to issue a joint statement on Thursday urging “individuals with mild coronavirus cases” to “avoid trips to hospital emergency departments.”
According to the statement, “Hospitals across Virginia have recently experienced an influx of patients seeking emergency department care for asymptomatic or relatively mild COVID-19 infections.” According to the statement, “a hospital emergency department is not the appropriate venue for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms to seek medical care. Most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not need to visit the hospital’s emergency department and can effectively recover from their illness at home, or by seeking primary care treatment and/or speaking with their primary care provider[.]”– READ MORE