Rady Children’s Hospital: Avoid emergencies for mild COVID cases, testing needs

SAN DIEGO – The Rady Children’s Hospital is asking the public not to come to their emergency room just looking for a COVID-19 test for children to return to school or even with mild symptoms.

In a statement on Monday, the hospital said the reason was to “prioritize patients with serious illness or injury.”

“For back-to-school testing, check your district’s guidelines, use over-the-counter rapid antigen tests if possible, or visit coronavirus-sd.com for testing locations,” the hospital said.

Health officials at the county’s only children’s hospital are urging families to look to other options if their needs are truly not urgent.

“Call your pediatrician, call a nurse line and get advice,” said Dr. Scott Herskovitz, director of emergency medical services at Rady. “There are many facilities in the county that offer COVID testing. “

But the county’s free COVID-19 test sites have shown no signs of slowing down. Long queues could be seen at several locations on Monday after consecutive holiday weekends.

“I’m going to have to try another one the next day or try to find a place that offers a home test,” said Chris Poma, who was unable to access Encanto’s test site until it closed Monday.

This week, 15 children are being treated in a special infectious disease unit at Rady Children’s Hospital. The hospital has a total capacity of 30 people. With this, hospital officials remind everyone to plan ahead and use available resources.

“Maybe that means you have to drive an extra five minutes to get to another facility,” Herskovitz said, “but thinking of it as a risk-benefit and knowing that you really want to expose your kids to others. potential infections in the emergency department for what they have already been exposed to – and there is a cost to the emergency department as well. “

Click or tap here to view the free COVID-19 test sites in San Diego County. Vaccination locations in the county are available here as well as on the federal government’s vaccination website, vaccines.gov.

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