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Banner: Overwhelmed emergency rooms can't give COVID-19 clearance for work

'The emergency room is for those with serious health concerns that require immediate medical attention'

Emergency rooms like Banner University Medical Center's are being flooded with people seeking "back-to-work" notes requested by employers, and they're not the "appropriate venue," the hospital firm said.

Banner Health emergency rooms are experiencing an influx of citizens arriving for a 'back-to-work clearance,' at the directive of their employers. Emergency rooms are not equipped for, nor the appropriate venue for, such clearances," a news release from the company said.

"We are asking all employers to find alternative ways to evaluate their employees' fitness to return to work following an illness, such as contacting their primary care provider or being symptom free for a period of time," Banner said.

"The emergency room is for those with serious health concerns that require immediate medical attention," the release said.

Banner will not provide "fit-for-work clearances" or test for COVID-19 at the request of an employer. Only those who meet CDC criteria for testing will be tested.

From Banner:

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we strongly encourage social distancing, aside from essential activities, and to stay home if you are sick. Also:

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue! Be sure to throw the tissue directly into the trash after you're done.

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

If you need to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, make sure it's with washed hands.

Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or utilize a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

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