COVID-19 Delta Variant

As the COVID-19 Delta and Omicron variants continue to spike, two South Jersey hospitals have asked those seeking testing to refrain from overburdening their health care systems.

In Somers Point, Shore Medical Center posted an advisory that for the safety of staff and patients, those seeking treatment should avoid going to the Emergency Room unless they really need emergency care.

Before going to the Emergency Room, patients should ask themselves these questions:

  • Are you experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that you feel require emergency care?
  • Are you in need of immediate medical treatment for any emergency?

“If so, then our highly-skilled, compassionate team is ready as always to care for you,” the post stated.

In Atlantic City and Galloway Township, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center used its social media accounts to say the hospital campuses, Urgent Care centers, Primary Care practices and Rapid Testing centers have had a surge in calls since the Omicron variant started spreading so quickly.

Community walk-in testing is not available in the Emergency Room.

“We have significant volumes of patients needing emergency care as well as an increase in the number of individuals who need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and other illnesses,” the post stated.

“Because we need our teams ready and available to support our community members experiencing real emergencies, we ask that you seek care in the most appropriate setting.”

If you are:

  • Seeking COVID-19 testing, consider additional locations, including community pharmacies.
  • The state of New Jersey has a robust list of testing sites at
  • Experiencing an emergency, including symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911.
  • Patients needing to communicate with their providers for routine issues, such as medication renewals and appointment scheduling, are encouraged to communicate via the AtlantiCare patient portal found at this website

“We recognize and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience longer on-hold and outpatient waiting times are causing. If you are on-hold to schedule an appointment for an outpatient visit or a COVID-19 test, we ask that you remain on the line so that we can assist you. You can also book telehealth appointments online for primary, specialty and urgent care”

Both health systems recommend the best steps you can take to protect yourself and others are to get vaccinated and boosted, wear a mask, and to stay home when sick or if you have symptoms of COVID-19.



Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.