In an emergency, every second counts. That’s where we come in. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the need for emergency care might arise — and we are here to help.
Whether it’s a serious bodily injury or symptoms of a life-threatening condition like a heart attack, do not delay seeking medical care.
You may be worried about going to the emergency room (ER) at your local hospital. But we are doing everything we can to protect you and your loved ones from coronavirus. And you can take precautions, too, to keep yourself safe.
Extra Coronavirus Pandemic Precautions
If you or a loved one needs emergency care, we have put certain procedures in place to keep you safe in the ER. These measures help to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They follow specific recommendations issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for infection control.
The first step we are taking is screening patients, visitors and all personnel, including health care providers, for possible symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter the emergency room. So when you or a loved one arrives, you will be asked certain questions at the entrance to determine if you may have coronavirus. Your temperature will also be taken to check if you have a fever.
We have also set up separate care areas for people who have possible symptoms of COVID-19. This measure helps prevent the spread of coronavirus to patients who are being treated for other medical emergencies. After you enter the ER or if you arrive by ambulance, you will be taken to the appropriate care area.
In Urgent Care facilities, we’ve enacted remote registration and coronavirus screenings outside the office. Those with a cough, fever or respiratory symptoms are asked to wait in their cars rather than the waiting room. Certain rooms are dedicated to COVID-19 patients. Facilities are fully stocked with safety supplies, such as sanitizer, masks and gloves.
Other Safety Measures for COVID-19
To help keep our patients, visitors, health care providers and other facility employees safe, we are taking other steps to prevent infections. These include:
- Frequently cleaning and disinfecting the ER lobby and patient rooms
- Regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, elevator buttons and light switches
Our health care providers also have the necessary personal protective equipment like masks and gloves to care for patients. They are wearing them when appropriate. And to further protect everyone, our hospital staff is practicing social distancing, where possible, and frequent hand-washing.
Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus in the ER
If you or a loved one needs to come to the hospital for emergency care, you can also take certain precautions to protect yourself. These are steps the CDC recommends you do every day at home and out in public to prevent illness.
Wear a mask or cloth face covering, if possible. Some people infected with coronavirus may not have symptoms, putting others at risk for infection. So the CDC now recommends that people wear a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose while in a community setting. This guidance extends to public places like emergency rooms.
But don’t put cloth face coverings on children younger than age two. Masks also do not need to be worn if you or a loved one is having trouble breathing, is unconscious or unable to remove the covering without help.
Keep up social distancing. While in the ER lobby, try to maintain a distance of 6 feet between you and other patients and visitors. Even though you will be separated from patients who are being treated for COVID-19, some people can carry the virus without having symptoms, according to the CDC.
Wash your hands often. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or touching a public surface. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid high-touch surfaces, where possible. Use your elbow or cover your hand with a tissue or sleeve if you must touch something. Frequently touched surfaces include elevator buttons, door handles and handrails.
Don’t touch your face. As good protection against many types of viruses, always try not to touch your face, nose, eyes and hair. This is how germs on your hands can infect you.
In an Emergency, Act with Urgency
When experiencing a medical emergency, it’s critical to seek care right away. Delaying care for a serious injury or symptom like chest pain can be dangerous.
Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Let the dispatcher know if you suspect you might have COVID-19, so they can take proper precautions.
Use Video Visits Whenever Possible
If your symptoms don’t seem to be life-threatening, reach out to your physician. You can use the AdventHealth App to schedule a video visit.
From acid reflux to pink eye to lower back pain, eCare offers treatment for most minor health problems without having to visit the hospital. A nurse practitioner or doctor can assess your symptoms from the comfort of your home and guide you in next steps.
Keeping You Healthy — and Well-Informed
Visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub for up-to-date information, videos and other resources on COVID-19. We’re here to provide you with the tools you need to stay safe and healthy.