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Baton Rouge General Urges the Community to Avoid the ER for Non-Life-Threatening Issues

Today, Baton Rouge General (BRG) is experiencing a rapid increase in those seeking testing in its 3 ER locations.

As COVID and flu cases increase across Baton Rouge, BRG has seen an increase in patients visiting the ER for non-life-threatening issues. Many patients visiting the ER have mild cold or flu-like symptoms and simply need a COVID test. This increases ER wait times and affects the ability of staff to care for those who need it most.

“Over the last week we have seen an increase in COVID cases and an increase in the demand for testing across the community. We know that lines are long at many urgent cares and testing sites and that over- the-counter tests are hard to find, but we need to do our best to keep our emergency rooms reserved for emergency care and those that are experiencing severe issues such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath and stroke symptoms. If you have mild COVID or flu like symptoms call your doctor or visit an urgent care near you” said Monica Nijoka, Chief Nursing Officer at Baton Rouge General.

Emergency Care

This does not mean that if you have a true medical emergency, you shouldn’t call 911. Healthcare providers and emergency personnel urge you to call 911 if you have serious emergency symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, stroke symptoms, chest pain, or shortness of breath.


If you have minor COVID symptoms and need to be tested, please use urgent cares, contact your primary care doctor or visit one of the community testing sites that have been established through the Louisiana Department of Health.

Baton Rouge General Express Care Urgent Care (appointment only due to demand)

LDH COVID Testing Sites

COVID Hospitalizations

Baton Rouge General currently has 29 COVID hospitalizations across all campuses with 5 COVID ICU patients.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with over 600 licensed beds between three campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General is affiliated with several medical school programs, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @BRGeneral and Instagram @batonrougegeneral.