EAST POINT, Ga. (AP) — Officials in metro Atlanta are concerned about Wellstar Health System turning Fulton County’s only emergency room south of Interstate 20 into an urgent care clinic.

WellStar says that in May, it will close the ER and hospital beds at its hospital in East Point outside Atlanta and turn the facility into a 24-hour urgent care and rehabilitation clinic.

Wellstar CEO Candice Saunders says the decision was prompted by a staff shortage and lower-than-average patient admissions.

People needing emergency care would be transported about 10 miles away.

East Point Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham says time and distance could mean life or death.