GALION — Avita Health System has announced that it is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients, causing long emergency room wait times and record high hospitalizations.
Patients with mild symptoms are asked to avoid going to Avita’s emergency rooms for testing to increase access for patients who need emergency care, including those with severe COVID-19 illness.
“Our ER’s are overwhelmed with patients seeking COVID testing like we’ve never seen before,” explained Kim Winkle, Vice President of Operations for Avita Health System. “Hospitals all over the state are struggling to keep up with patient volumes. In an effort to divert testing traffic from our emergency departments, we are asking persons with mild symptoms to contact their primary care provider’s office to obtain an order for a COVID test at one of our testing sites or schedule a telehealth visit. This includes those who have been exposed to COVID and have no symptoms but still feel they should be tested. Our Walk-In Clinics are also experiencing an influx of patients, but are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for illnesses and injuries that do not require emergent care.”
Avita offers COVID-19 rapid testing at the Bellville and Ontario Walk-In Clinics, as well as their testing sites in the parking lots of Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario hospitals. A doctor’s order is required for patients to be tested at one of these sites. COVID-19 tests can be purchased out-of-pocket without an order for $150 by calling 419-462-3437 for an appointment.
• Ontario Walk-In Clinic (2003 W. Fourth St, Ste. 130, Ontario): 567-307-7920
• Bellville Walk-In Clinic (987 St. Rt. 97 West, Bellville): 567-560-3790
• Ontario Hospital (West Entrance tent): Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Bucyrus Hospital (Cardiac Rehab Entrance tent): Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Galion Hospital (South Entrance): Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Governor DeWine recently announced that the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio National Guard, and the Ohio Hospital Association will expand COVID-19 testing locations, including a potential site in Mansfield. Our hope is that those who just want COVID testing will use this site and keep the Emergency Rooms available for those who need emergent treatment,” said Winkle.
For information about Avita Health System, go to its website www.avitahealth.org.