Published on January 16, 2022

Johnston Health Halts Asymptomatic COVID Testing in Hospital Emergency Departments

Effective immediately, Johnston Health will no longer administer COVID tests to the general public who are not experiencing symptoms in its emergency departments (EDs). With the impact of the Omicron variant, EDs at hospitals across the nation have been overwhelmed with patients, and Johnston Health is no exception to the current surge of COVID cases.

“Our hospital’s resources are stretched to the breaking point,” says Dr. Rodney McCaskill, chief medical officer at Johnston Health. “Every available inpatient bed is filled, and we’re holding other patients in the EDs who need to be admitted.”

McCaskill says the hospital’s supply of COVID test kits is running low and must be conserved for patients who are being hospitalized. “Those who have no symptoms or mild symptoms should seek testing sites in the community,” he says. “These include the county’s testing site in Smithfield and UNCPN Urgent Cares in Clayton and at Flowers.”

UNC Health is also pausing asymptomatic COVID testing in the EDs at UNC Medical Centers in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough and UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh and Holly Springs. With winter weather approaching, it’s even more important that hospitals use their ED resources to care for true emergencies.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are in need of testing, we recommend these COVID-19 testing options:

  • Schedule your test using MY UNC Chart and selecting “Schedule an Appointment.”
  • Visit the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) website to find a free testing
    site near you.
  • Request a free at-home test kit from LabCorp.

As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department.

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