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If I must go to the hospital, what should I do to protect myself from COVID-19?

If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, losing consciousness, or feeling pressure or pain in your chest area, seek immediate help by calling 911. See also: How do I know when I need to call 911?

Before going to the hospital, it is advisable to call ahead before visiting your doctor or healthcare provider. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.

If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and seek advice on whether you need to go to the hospital for your medical concern. If your symptoms are not related to COVID-19, it would be better for you to try doing telehealth first so you will not have to worry about exposure to COVID-19 while getting the right treatment.

If you come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or if you are experiencing symptoms that seem like COVID-19, you have to disclose this on the phone call when you seek medical advice. Tell your healthcare provider that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 will help them protect themselves and other patients.

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This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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