Is it safe to go to the emergency room?
If you or your loved ones need immediate medical attention, it is important for you to know that it is safe to go to the emergency room. While you may have concerns about the COVID-19, do not delay from seeking the urgent care that you and your loved ones need.
See also: How do I know when I need to call 911?
Outpatient clinics, emergency departments and hospitals are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including pre-registration symptom screening, appropriate PPE for healthcare workers, physical distancing within facilities.
Many healthcare facilities are reducing in-person care through telehealth visits. Think of it like Facebook Messenger or Viber calls with your doctor to get the care you need quickly and safely. You can do it in the safety of your own home, at a convenient time for you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for healthcare facilities and managing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC outlines recommendations for healthcare facilities to operate effectively and safely during the pandemic. Healthcare facilities, specifically emergency rooms, have adjusted the way they deliver their services and limit in-person care.
Healthcare facilities have adjusted their standard approaches to delivering healthcare services in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
- CDC recommends screening and triage for everyone that enters the healthcare facility for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19. This means a healthcare worker will take your temperature and ask you or your family members health questions when you arrive at your preferred healthcare facility.
- Healthcare facilities have taken steps to ensure everyone adheres to the face-mask policy and hand hygiene practices. You and your family member may be given a face-mask or asked to sanitize your hands upon arrival to a healthcare facility.
- Healthcare facilities are also recommended to limit and monitor points of entry for the purpose of separating those who may have COVID-19 and those who have medical concerns that are not related to COVID-19. They are recommended to manage visitor access and movement within a facility. The CDC also suggests healthcare facilities to enforce physical distancing in the waiting rooms and emergency rooms.
- This may mean you may need to go to the doctor by yourself, or if you are accompanying a loved one you may not be able to wait for them inside the healthcare facility. If you are taking your grandparent to the doctor, you may need to ensure that they have the means to call you once they are done with their doctor's visit.
For more information, please read CDC guidelines on how healthcare facilities have been mandated to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.