ATLANTA – Several Atlanta metro emergency rooms are currently reporting overcrowding issues and are being forced to turn away patients.
COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Georgia due to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, which is behind the sudden increase, according to local nurses and doctors.
Ashli Lincoln de Channel 2 was at Grady Memorial Hospital, where people were waiting outside the emergency room because of the crowds.
Doctors and nurses told Lincoln that the sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 patients is forcing them to turn away emergency room patients who arrive on foot, by car or by ambulance.
According to a state database, Grady’s Hospital, as well as several locations within the Wellstar, Piedmont and Emory hospital systems, were all on ER rout and did not accept ambulances at various times on Sunday. .
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Several of these hospitals were also listed as being near full capacity in intensive care and were listed as having very busy emergency rooms.
Others diverted obstetric, psychiatric and NICU patients.
Lincoln spoke to an emergency room nurse who did not want to be identified, but said the increase in patient numbers was drastic from the start of the pandemic.
“Right now this delta variant is really very contagious,” she said. “It hits so fast here. The original pandemic, she took her time and made its way. Now it’s a lot of people at the same time.
Hospitals were so overcrowded on Sunday that ambulances were diverted to less busy hospitals.
For people waiting to be treated for things other than COVID, the nurse Lincoln spoke to said to avoid emergencies.
“If there is emergency care where they can be seen, I encourage them to show off there, so COVID patients can have first priority,” Lincoln said.
Earlier this week, we spoke with Wellstar’s Director of Health Systems, Dr. Danny Branstetter. He said most of the patients who end up in the hospital are not vaccinated.
“What really drives this are the unvaccinated,” Branstetter said. ” There is no doubt. The overwhelming majority, 90 +% or more in our hospitals that require hospitalizations are not vaccinated. “
The seven-day average of cases in Georgia has climbed more than 700% over the past month.
Currently, 82.9% of hospital beds are full in Georgia.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Channel 2 Action News has asked other major hospitalizations in the city for more information on the state of their emergency and intensive care departments.
© 2021 Cox Media Group