Inova, Novant Health hospitals asking patients with COVID symptoms to test elsewhere, avoid ERs

Two health systems that operate hospitals in Northern Virginia — Inova and Novant — are asking those with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid going to their emergency rooms for testing to make space for patients who need emergency care.

Amid a surge of coronavirus cases, Inova’s emergency rooms are prioritizing patients who require emergency care and those who are critically ill. Inova operates six hospitals in Northern Virginia.

Novant Health issued a similar plea on social media.

Inova said in a Facebook post people should get tested at a community site or use a home test kit.

Novant Health has tool to find a COVID-19 test nearby is online.



Anyone who is asymptomatic or has mild systems is discouraged from coming to the ER “so we may preserve resources for those in our community with emergent medical needs,” Inova said.

Many hospitals only administer COVID-19 tests with a doctor’s order, so it’s likely faster and cheaper to find another testing site.

The spike in COVID-19 cases has lead Inova hospital system to manage all requests for monoclonal antibodies online, according to the Facebook post. The hospitals also are restricting eligibility for those treatments.

Inova said it’s working to set up a community testing site and that people can look for updates on social media.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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