Health officials warn Rhode Islanders of overcrowding in hospital emergency departments

Emergency room at Rhode Island Hospital, Monday, May 9, 2022. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Health officials are warning Rhode Islanders of overcrowding in hospital emergency departments.

With several respiratory viruses circulating in the state and with hospital emergency departments already experiencing significant crowding, residents are being urged to only go to emergency departments for issues that require urgent care.

Rhode Island Department of Health Consultant Medical Director Dr. Philip Chan said 100 people are in the hospital now with COVID infections, many taking up ICU and care beds.

“I can say the situation is serious, and we expect it to remain serious throughout this winter season,” Chan said. “The emergency departments, as we know, are constantly at or beyond their operating capacity.”

The Department of Health said residents should seek alternative places for care if they can, as staff is already stretched thin.

State health leaders also said that measures should be taken to stay healthy, including staying up to date on vaccines.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island