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Lexington ERs overwhelmed; doctors say too many people coming for COVID tests

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:43 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Doctors at Lexington’s hospitals tell us their emergency departments are overwhelmed.

They say too many people are coming in for COVID-19 tests, putting a strain on resources and staff.

Tuesday morning, during a zoom conference, doctors reported the omicron variant is sending more people to the hospital. However, they say about 30 percent of ER visits are solely for COVID-19 testing.

They noted not everyone should be in the emergency department especially those showing no symptoms or mild symptoms. Instead, they’re telling people to utilize the free local testing sites or head to a pharmacy or a primary care physician for a COVID-19 test.

Doctors say too many people in the emergency department takes away care from more critical patients.

“None of our other diseases stop because of COVID,” said Dr. Roger Humphries, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Kentucky. “Heart attacks can happen, strokes happen, other surgical emergencies happen.”

Doctors say if you head to the ER for a COVID-19 test, they will still see you, but they emphasized the fact that you will be charged an emergency room fee.

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