Alabama Department of Public Health says emergency rooms are overwhelmed

Alabama News

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Alabama (WRBL) – In a news release from Aug. 4, Alabama hospitals are urging patients to go to an emergency room only in the case of a true emergency, not to get tested for COVID-19.

Emergency rooms are not meant for COVID-19 testing. Cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are rising at a rate that has not been seen.

There has been a surplus of COVID-19 patients, including those that are younger, more sick and unvaccinated.

Emergency rooms are unable to keep up with the influx of hospitalizations and as a result are being, “overwhelmed,” according to a news release.

Those with less severe symptoms or minor injuries are asked to contact their healthcare provider or visit a local urgent care in order to avoid an emergency room.

More serious medical problems like heart attacks and strokes should take precedence over minor injuries in an emergency room.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) advises people with the following symptoms to seek immediate medical attention; trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish coloration of lips or face.

For any other symptoms contact a local health provider, or 911 for medical emergencies.

In the case of a medical emergency, persons who believe they may have COVID-19 should communicate with the operator and if possible put on a mask or face covering before emergency responders arrive.

The ADPH COVID-19 Table,, provides a list of COVID-19 testing sites.

Please call the site for additional information before visiting.

For more information, visit

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