COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Due to capacity limits, several central Ohio hospitals are urging the public to stop coming into their emergency rooms for COVID-19 tests.
“Within central Ohio, all of the hospitals are struggling,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, infectious disease specialist with OhioHealth.
With the exponential rise in cases due to the delta variant, local hospitals are fighting just to avoid overpopulation.
Doctors said it’s an issue that’s only been made worse by people coming into emergency departments wanting to get tested for COVID.
“Having people come out just for COVID testing adds more stress in healthcare,” Gastaldo said.
Gastaldo added that OhioHealth’s emergency rooms are already at capacity due to patients with trauma, injuries, or COVID itself, saying the place to get a COVID test isn’t the emergency room, but rather a clinic or pharmacy.
“Or to go online, I would even recommend, like I’ve done myself, is to get some and to have them home, ready for testing when that symptom comes up or you have a high-risk exposure,” Gastaldo said.
However, he acknowledges that right now, it’s more difficult than ever to get a COVID test due to increased demand and lack of supply, but he expects that to change soon.
“From the federal level, antigen tests are being pushed out to the states, and at the state level, we are getting antigen tests distributed throughout the state of Ohio,” Gastaldo said.
OhioHealth still has testing sites open and have added Saturday hours to their Columbus testing site.