‘Do not go to the ER for COVID testing’: Huntington hospital reaches capacity not seen since height of pandemic

Local News

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — Parkview Huntington Hospital’s emergency department was filled to capacity, with medical staff spread too thin and limited beds, the county’s public health officer said in a Facebook post-Friday.

In that post, the Huntington County Health Department also urged residents: “Do not go to the ER” for COVID testing because the ER was treating twice the number of patients as usual.

The hospital was dealing with “numbers like we did last winter,” the post said. That’s when northeast Indiana had the most deaths during COVID-19, according to Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Pflieger.

“It just makes for beds being a little harder to get. If you look at the District 3 area of what beds are open, that number is shrinking,” said Dr. Pflieger. “I talk to nurses who have left there [the hospital] feeling exhausted and defeated… just exhausted. I don’t know how else to express it.”

Pflieger added that many of the patients are coming in with mild COVID-19 symptoms or wanted to get a COVID test. He called that an “over-utilization of the ER.”

“We are really trying to communicate with people that if you’re just interested to know if you got COVID, go to a testing site, go get it done at a pharmacy, go to your doctor’s office. Do not go to the ER,” Dr. Pflieger said. “A lot of the testing sites are free versus an ER bill which is going to be a lot more money. There is still a big portion of people who are going to have mild symptoms but don’t need ER resources.”

Dr. Pflieger added that the ER beds are for people with severe symptoms and other medical patients such as someone who had a heart attack, stroke, or was in a crash.

Parkview Health issued the following statement:

Like many hospitals in the area, Parkview Huntington Hospital has been experiencing a high census in our emergency department and other care units related to an increase in COVID-19 patients. Although we currently have adequate capacity in our hospital, the recent increase we have seen in COVID-19 patients is concerning.

Parkview Health

To schedule an appointment to be tested, click here.

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