Hospitals see long lines of people needing COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus in West Virginia

TEAYS VALLEY, WV (WOWK) — Charleston Area Medical Center locations across the Kanawha Valley have seen an uptick in the emergency room and urgent care visits. People are also lining up to get tested for COVID-19.

According to CAMC spokesman Dale Witte, the emergency rooms are filling up and the urgent care facilities are seeing twice the pre-pandemic volume. Not all of those cases are COVID-19.

CAMC isn’t the only hospital system seeing a high volume of patients. For many hospitals in our area, the rise in patients is stretching resources and prompting concern. The topic was discussed Wednesday during West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s COVID-19 briefing.

CAMC’s drive-thru testing sites have been busy as well the last few weeks. Witte said the facility at Teays Valley Hospital was particularly busy the Tuesday after Labor Day. He said that is likely because of students needing testing after recent outbreaks in Putnam County.

Jett Harris attends an elementary school in Putnam County and was out of class Wednesday because of an outbreak at his school. He was tested last week.

“It was the kind that they don’t just shove up to your brain and I’d rather be safe than sorry,” he said, regarding the testing experience.

Harris is only 10 and can’t get vaccinated. But as he watches what is going on in his community he said he’s not taking any chances.

“It is just because I’d rather have the six feet apart and you have to hand sanitize every time you walk by one, I’d rather have that currently than what we are having right now,” Harris said.

On social media, CAMC has been promoting an app as a way to keep people with mild symptoms out of crowded waiting rooms.

Also, in order to get tested at one of the CAMC testing sites, you must have an order from a provider.

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