As the omicron variant spreads rapidly throughout California, Public Health and hospital leaders are urging all residents to avoid seeking testing or treatment of mild symptoms at hospital emergency departments (ED).
Hospitals are needed for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms or other critical illnesses. For non-emergencies, people should contact their health care provider for guidance or go to an urgent care. EDs should not be used to get tested for clearance purposes (i.e. Trips, concerts, employment, etc.).
“Most people who contract coronavirus do not need to visit a hospital emergency department and can recover from their illness at home or by seeking primary care treatment,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “Those seeking testing should do so from one of the many community testing sites, not an ED.”
As hospital beds and emergency departments continue to fill, the community can do their part in the following ways:
- Get vaccinated
- If eligible, get a booster shot
- Wear a mask in all public places
- Avoid crowded events and travel if possible
- Reserve use of hospitals for emergency care only