As the Omicron variant continues to sweep through California, hospitals are beginning to feel the strain. Ambulances are waiting longer to offload patients into emergency rooms in Orange County, echoing a similar problem in Los Angeles County as coronavirus infections increase.

In Orange County, at least nine hospitals have set up surge tents to increase capacity.

Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a deputy health officer with Orange County, urged the public not to come to emergency rooms unless it’s an emergency, and said it’s inappropriate for people to go there just to get a coronavirus test.

“Our hospitals are getting full,” Chinsio-Kwong said. “Our ERs are getting full. So if you are looking for a test, if you have mild symptoms, please consider first a virtual appointment with your healthcare provider to not overwhelm the ERs even more because we really want ERs and urgent cares to really just take care of the urgent situations.”

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