Georgians Asked to Reduce Strain on EMS & Emergency Departments

The current surge of COVID cases throughout Georgia is stretching hospital and EMS personnel and resources to unprecedented levels. As a result, many hospitals are having to declare themselves on diversion meaning they are temporarily unable to provide normal emergency care to patients arriving by ambulance. Diversion is a term specific to ambulance transports and is a request to ambulances to transport patients to other local facilities if possible.

Diversion does not apply to individuals seeking emergency medical care. Individuals experiencing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1 and ask for assistance.

The statewide hospital diversion website https://georgiarcc.org is a tool intended to be used by EMS agencies across Georgia so that they may take into consideration the diversion status(es) of hospitals they may be transporting patients to.

The Georgia Coordinating Center (GCC) is a communications center for use ONLY by ambulance crews who are transporting patients to emergency departments that are located in the 13-county metro Atlanta area. The public should NOT call the GCC with questions or concerns.

To help keep hospital emergency departments open and able to treat medical emergencies, individuals seeking COVID testing should not go to hospital emergency departments. COVID-19 testing locations are available throughout Georgia and can be found on the DPH website at https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.

COVID vaccination is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers.

To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated and wear a mask in public settings where social distancing is not possible and wash their hands frequently.