(WFXR) — Many health officials are saying the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is like nothing they’ve ever seen before.

“We definitely are seeing those volumes with the uptick in COVID numbers,” said Dr. Giuliana Allega of Centra Health.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website, there are almost 2,000 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Virginia.

To make matters worse, some people are needlessly rushing to emergency rooms.

“We don’t wanna go to the emergency room just for a COVID test,” said Allega.

Allega states this can further overwhelm hospitals.

“It does flood the system when people seek out a lot of testing that might be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic,” said Allega.

She says the goal is to alleviate the stress that puts on the system.

Vice President of Communications Julian Walker of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association says people should only go to the emergency room when having serious symptoms.

“The reason to go to the emergency room is if you’re having difficulty breathing, if you’re actually having trouble exhaling and inhaling. If you have a temperature that is significantly elevated 103, 104, and it’s not going down, that’s when you go to the emergency department,” said Walker.

Walker says the strain of COVID-19 cases also impacts visitation policies.

“A number of members already at different places in the Commonwealth have indicated they are scaling back,” said Walker.

Walker also says people should consider vaccination to help healthcare workers.

“It’s a way of expressing appreciation, indirectly, for these healthcare workers on the frontlines,” said Walker.