DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — DeKalb Regional Medical Center will no longer perform COVID-19 tests in their emergency room for patients with lower risk symptoms like a runny nose, persistent cough, or change in taste or smell. The new policy is effective immediately.

In a Facebook post, the hospital said the change was due to the increasing number of patients with medical emergencies or other conditions that require urgent attention. The statement listed chest pain, difficulty breathing and stroke symptoms as examples of instances where medical attention is vital.

The hospital encouraged residents to take advantage of the Biden administration’s new at-home COVID-19 test delivery service. Those can be requested here.

“Taking an at-home COVID test can relieve the strain on health systems,” the statement continued. “Our emergency department remains open to treating medical emergencies. It is not a COVID-19 testing center.”

DeKalb Regional says the best way to get tested with minor symptoms is to contact your primary care physician.

“Anyone experiencing shortness of breath or uncertainty about the severity of their symptoms should dial 911 or visit the nearest emergency room,” the statement concluded.