Albany hospitals warning of long ER wait times
Shaniece Holmes-Brown is reporting for the Times Union that three regional hospitals are warning that longer than usual waits should be expected when using their emergency rooms. The reason is a large increase in the number of patients going to the ER for mild COVID-19 symptoms, Albany Medical Center, Ellis Medicine, and St. Peter’s Health Partners said in a combined advisory. Hospital officials advise that patients seeking non-emergency care are likely to have shorter waits by contacting their primary care physician or being seen at an urgent care sites. "Between our current inpatient numbers and the surge in COVID-19 cases, all of our area's emergency departments are reporting longer wait times for patients seeking care,” said Dr. Steven Hanks, chief clinical officer, chief operating officer, and Acting CEO for St. Peter's Health Partners in the statement. "We understand that people are frustrated with the longer wait times and ask for their patience and respect for our health care providers." In the past week, state Health Department data show the Capital Region has the second-highest level of COVID-19 cases statewide, with hospitalizations also rising. The region is seeing 55 people per 100,000 test positive daily for coronavirus on a seven-day average. In Hudson, Columbia Memorial Hospital is not warning of long waits at the ER or that it has any plans to divert patients due to higher than usual wait times. Read the full story in the Times Union.