Baystate Health urges selective ER use ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health is urging people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections to avoid its emergency rooms unless they are seriously ill to preserve capacity and resources over the Memorial Day weekend, MassLive reported May 27.

People seeking COVID-19 testing and treatments should visit physician offices, urgent care centers or community testing sites, according to Andrew Artenstein, MD, Baystate's chief physician executive and chief academic officer.

The recommendation comes amid a rise in COVID-19 admissions at the system. As of May 27, Baystate Health was treating 94 COVID-19 patients at its four hospitals, up from 27 patients two months ago.

Dr. Artenstein told MassLive many patients are coming to the emergency room for Paxlovid amid this uptick, even though physician offices can prescribe it. The health system is also grappling with staffing shortages, in part due to employees being out sick with COVID-19. 

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