ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona health department: ERs are for medical emergencies, not COVID-19 testing

Jan 18, 2022, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services said Friday that because emergency rooms are at the front line of the COVID-19 response, the community should remember the rooms are reserved for medical emergencies only and not for COVID-19 testing.

ADHS said in a statement that alongside an increase of COVID-19 cases in the past week, hospitals are reporting that people with little to no symptoms are asking for COVID-19 tests at emergency rooms instead of testing sites.

Hospitals are facing tougher challenges when it comes to treating people facing medical emergencies, the statement said.

Because of this increased difficulty, ADHS asked everyone to aid in keeping ERs reserved for immediate medical needs, while advising alternatives to those not experiencing an emergency, such as a primary care physician or urgent care centers.

Medical emergencies that would require ER assistance include trouble breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, altered mental state or signs of a stroke or heart attack, the statement said.

While home tests are available to purchase in stores and online, some other options can be found at ASU, the city of Phoenix and in Maricopa County.

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Arizona health department: ERs are for medical emergencies, not COVID-19 testing