Michigan Medicine asks those who need COVID tests to avoid ERs, says 500 staff out with positive tests

COVID-19 omicron
Posted at 3:42 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 15:44:50-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Officials with Michigan Medicine are asking people who need COVID-19 testing not to come to their emergency rooms.

Officials say those who need a COVID test should use other options that have them available so that emergency rooms can be free to treat those with "life and limb" threatening conditions.

"Our emergency departments are crowded, we’re having to defer some scheduled procedural and surgical care, and the net result is significant challenges for patients in need of care across the region and the state," says Dr. David Miller, President of University of Michigan Health.

"Urgent cares are available and can take care of many minor illnesses and injuries. You can also speak to your doctor – they can help direct you to the most appropriate site of care," says emergency physician Dr. Brad Uren. "People may also have a phone number associated w their insurance or some other way to contact their insurer who can help them find a provider near them particularly if they’re traveling, they’re away from home, they can find an opportunity for the most appropriate site of care, sometimes by using their insurer."

The request comes amid the omicron surge in the coronavirus. Officials say Michigan hospitals are full in the face of community spread.

"We’d ask you to please, if you haven’t done so already, proceed with a primary vaccination or a booster dose. They’re widely available, and safe, and effective. It also makes sense to continue our public health practices," Miller says. "Social distance to the greatest extent possible. Wear a mask when you’re indoors. And do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable among us."

Michigan Medicine officials also say they have had to defer some scheduled procedural and surgical care. They say since December 200 surgeries have been postponed.

Michigan Medicine officials also say that right now they have more than 500 employees out because of a positive COVID test.

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