Don’t go to hospital unless suffering life-threatening illness, officials plead as COVID cases surge


Kern Public Health

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern hospital representatives have issued a joint statement with public health officials asking residents not to go to a hospital unless suffering from a life-threatening illness as staff are continuing to deal with a surge in COVID-19 patients.

Those seeking treatment for issues that aren’t life-threatening will get seen quicker by going to urgent care or their primary care physician, said a news release issued Friday.

Of those hospitalized because of COVID-19 complications, more than 98 percent are unvaccinated, officials said. They’re urging everyone to get vaccinated if they’re medically able.

“We would also remind the public that local emergency rooms do not administer rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients or people without qualifying symptoms,” the release says. “Local emergency rooms are experiencing a high number of these requests, contributing to longer wait times, delays in care, higher and unnecessary emergency room bills and co-payments, and difficulties in maintaining social distancing.”

Hospitals listed in the statement are Adventist Health, Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Kern Medical and Kern Valley Healthcare District.

For a map of local COVID-19 testing sites, click here.

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