JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Hospital Association is warning that emergency rooms are being overwhelmed with people looking to get tested for COVID.

The THA says that people should not try to get tested for COVID at emergency rooms as it is overwhelming staff and making it hard for workers to care for patients.

An official with Ballad Health says that emergency rooms should be used by those who are having medical emergencies.

“There could be people there with COVID and they could be obviously highly susceptible to getting it especially with the Omicron and secondly we really need to preserve the ER for the most critical patients at this time just because of the overwhelming nature of what’s going on out there,” said Ballad Health Chief Operating Officer Eric Deaton.

On Wednesday Ballad said that 750 employees were out of work after contracting COVID.

Ballad CEO said that people should expect “extremely frustrating” wait times in the emergency department.