Jersey Shore hospitals ask patients to go somewhere else to get tested

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Jersey Shore healthcare providers AltantiCare and Shore Medical Center are telling patients looking to get tested for COVID-19 to find alternatives as the hospitals are both busy handling growing caseloads.

In New Jersey on Thursday, 27,000 people were tested positive for the virus, a record-breaking figure.

“Because we need our teams ready and available to support our community members experiencing real emergencies, we ask that you seek care in the most appropriate setting,” AtlantiCare said in a message posted on their social media pages. “Seeking COVID-19 testing, consider additional locations, including community pharmacies.”

“All of our healthcare settings are experiencing a surge in calls and visits as the COVID-19 numbers grow again, including our hospital campuses, all of our Urgent Care centers, our COVID-19 Rapid Testing center and our AtlantiCare Physician Group Primary Care practices,” the company said in a statement. “We have significant volumes of patients needing emergency care as well as an increase in the number of individuals who need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and other illnesses. Our emergency departments do not offer community walk-in or scheduled COVID-19 testing at any of our hospital campuses.”

Shore Medical Center echoed the sentiment, asking patients not to visit the emergency room simply to get tested for COVID-19.

“We need your help! Shore’s ER is NOT a Covid testing site for nonemergent patients,” SMC said. “PLEASE do not come to the ER unless you are experiencing a medical emergency or if you feel your Covid symptoms require emergency medical treatment. As Covid-19 cases continue to spike, many community members have been coming to our emergency room to receive a Covid-19 test. It is crucial for the health and safety of our staff and patients that we allocate the resources in the Emergency Department for those in need of Emergent Care. Are you experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 that you feel require emergency care? Are you in need of immediate medical treatment for any emergency? If so, then our highly-skilled, compassionate team is ready as always to care for you.”

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