Health Advice



Getting safe emergency care during COVID-19

pandemicFrom Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Find out when to get emergency care for non-COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms, and learn what emergency rooms are doing to keep you safe during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

News about the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic may be making you feel anxious about going to the emergency department or getting medical care, and you may wonder if it's safe to go to the hospital.

Current data has found that nearly 30% of people are avoiding or delaying medical care due to COVID-19 concerns. Some emergency rooms have about half their usual number of patients. But it's important to seek emergency care if you have serious non-COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms.

Delaying care for a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, can be life-threatening or lead to serious complications. Find out when you should go to the emergency room, and learn what emergency depatremnts are doing to keep you safe from getting the COVID-19 virus.

How are emergency rooms keeping people safe?

You may be worried about your chances of catching the COVID-19 virus in the emergency department or in the hospital if you need to be admitted. Data has found that 80% of adults are concerned about catching the COVID-19 virus in the emergency room. However, emergency rooms and hospitals are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and help make sure that visits to the hospital are as safe as possible.


Emergency rooms and hospitals follow strict guidelines for protecting people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Universal masking. Emergency rooms require that everyone wear a face mask. Health care professionals are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Screening at all entrances. Everyone entering is screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms.

Separate waiting areas for people who have or may have COVID-19. People who may have COVID-19 may be asked to wait in separate, designated areas of the emergency deparment away from those who don't have COVID-19 signs and symptoms.


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