RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The UNC Health system will no longer give COVID-19 tests in their emergency department to people not showing any symptoms. Anyone being admitted or showing symptoms will still be tested for COVID-19.

For weeks, all three major hospitals in the Triangle have asked people to reconsider whether they need a visit to urgent care or a primary care doctor before showing up to emergency departments.

The quickly increasing number of people with COVID-19 are filling up hospital beds and emergency departments.

At the same time, hospitals have experienced staffing shortages due to COVID-19 infections and exposures. People with no symptoms but asking for a tests are slowing down the lines at the emergency department before eventually being sent to the back of the line.

“To ensure that our EDs have the time and tools to properly care for all patients seeking emergent care in our hospitals across North Carolina, we are pausing COVID testing for patients without symptoms,” said UNC Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Matt Ewend in a statement.

The new policy applies to the following centers:

  • UNC Medical Center (Chapel Hill & Hillsborough)
  • UNC Rex Healthcare (Raleigh & Holly Springs)
  • Caldwell UNC Health Care (Lenoir)
  • Chatham Health Care (Siler City)
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care (Eden)
  • Johnston UNC Health Care (Smithfield & Clayton)