LEE COUNTY, Fla. – In an urgent message from Lee Health, the Gulf Coast Medical Center is now asking people who need emergency medical care to use another area hospitals for the next 24 hours.
"We have many visitors here, there's more traffic on the roads, and when there's more traffic on the roads, there's more traffic in our emergency department," said Lee Health System Spokesperson Mary Briggs.
Due to an “unprecedented volume” of patients, Gulf Coast Medical Center on Daniels Parkway is reportedly packed with patients and Lee Health wants to reduce wait times in the ER.
Lee Health is urging you to use one of Lee County's other four hospitals until Saturday afternoon:
- Lee Memorial Hospital on Cleveland Avenue near downtown Ft. Myers
- HealthPark Medical Center on Summerlin in South Ft. Myers
- Cape Coral Hospital on Del Prado Boulevard
- Lehigh Regional on Lee Boulevard
No word on how long wait times were at those hospitals.
"There's quite a few people, 29 people. Sometimes it's really full, depends on the time of day," said Sherry Watts, whose grand daughter is at Healthpark Medical Center.
Officials with Lee Health say they're also working closely with EMS providers to have incoming patients transported to alternative hospitals.
"If you're having what you think is a heart attack, we're not asking you to drive by this hospital," said Briggs.
People who have medical needs that are not considered urgent are encouraged to go to a walk-in clinic.
Those clinics are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Gulf Coast Medical Center is in the midst of a massive expansion that will add more beds. Right now the hospital has 350 beds, but 400 patients are currently being treated there.