Russell County Hospital is urging people to avoid going to the ER just to get a COVID test.
The hospital passed along this note to WJRS:
Russell County Hospital urges anyone who believes they have a “life-or-limb threatening emergency,” to call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department, especially people experiencing serious health emergencies such as: stroke symptoms, chest pain, or trauma.
In Russell County and the Lake Cumberland area, COVID19 hospitalizations are reaching record highs so the hospital is getting explicit about what medical needs indicate a trip to the emergency room. Emergency Room waiting time could be several hours for health issues that do not qualify as life-or-limb threatening. Emergency Rooms are not “First-come-First-served,” but determination is made whether the Individual has a life -or-limb threatening emergency, by Qualified Physicians and Clinical Teams who prioritize based on Medical Necessity.
Listen – ER visits for COVID-19 tests are specifically discouraged. Russell County Hospital strongly advises against using emergency departments for COVID testing and warns the use of ERs for testing will not lead to faster results. Patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, ICUs are full, After-Hours Clinics & Urgent-Care Clinics are overwhelmed, and Emergency Rooms are backed up, so Russell County Hospital is managing capacity to ensure Individuals with the most critical needs, can access the care needed.