New Mexico hospitals warn of wait times for the less sick

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Patients who show up to emergency rooms in New Mexico’s largest city with minor or mild complaints could be in for long waits to receive care.

Officials with two of the state’s largest hospital systems issued that warning on Monday, saying their emergency departments are overwhelmed and that the situation is expected to get worse.

University of New Mexico Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare Services say the sickest patients are being treated first and that emergency rooms are no place for people looking for COVID-19 tests who don’t have severe symptoms.

Most patients hospitalized in New Mexico now are being treated for illnesses other than COVID-19.