INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Hospital Association asked Hoosiers to avoid visiting the emergency room for COVID-19 testing as hospitals have reached what the group described as "a state of crisis."
“Indiana hospitals are overwhelmed with the highest number of patients on record and have reached a state of crisis with dwindling capacity left to care for patients," IHA said in a statement.
The group said hospital emergency departments are seeing 8,500-10,000 visits per day, and at any point there are several hundred patients in emergency departments waiting for open beds.
Hospitals are required to conduct medical screens for every patient that visits the ER.
"Consequently, individuals seeking COVID-19 testing in the emergency room take much needed staff and resources away from those in need of emergency medical care during this surge," IHA said.
The group asks people to seek testing at primary care sites, such as physician offices and urgent care centers when possible, and to consider telehealth for non-emergency treatment.
IHA said that current case rates lead it to expect Indiana will pass its all-time high of COVID-19 hospitalizations this week.
Information on COVID-19 testing sites can be found on the state's website.