Sparrow officials encourage parents to test their kids for COVID before heading to emergency room


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A local emergency room says it’s being inundated with young patients, but not because there’s an outbreak of COVID.

It’s because, at the first sign of a sniffle, parents think their kids have COVID and rush them to the ER.

Doctors say there’s a better way to handle it.

It’s the beginning of the school year and that means a lot of kids coming together and passing their germs around.

But if you’re little one comes down with something, Sparrow has one message for you: skip the trip to the ER and take your child to their site in Frandor if they need a COVID test.

“It’s just an influx of a lot of sick kids.”

Cathy Marble is the Director of Pediatric Services at Sparrow Hospital.

She says parents are flooding their emergency room with their kids who have minor symptoms.

“Over the last week or so, we have been seeing an increased number of children coming to the emergency department with their parents, and they have those types of symptoms right a runny nose, congestion, cough, fever and those aren’t necessarily children we need to see in our emergency department. We want to keep our emergency department for children that need emergent care and inpatient care,” she said.

Marble says she understands why parents fear their child could be sick from COVID-19 but wants them to take their kids to a testing site first rather than the emergency room.

Health officials say over the last few weeks the number of kids hospitalized with COVID-19 at sparrow has increased.

Currently, 11% of Sparrow’s pediatric population is COVID positive, Marble said.

But parents crowding the emergency room just to get a test prevents doctors and nurses from attending to the ones who need care the most.

As a reminder, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Anyone can get a COVID-19 test.

Health officials say if you have any immediate questions, contact your physician or pediatrician

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