Don’t Let Fear of COVID-19 Deter You from Getting the Care You Need
Sutter Hospitals and Emergency Departments are Prepared to Treat You, Keep You Safe
If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency, seek care immediately by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency department.
– Given scenes of overwhelmed hospitals on the East Coast, many people are
delaying going to the emergency department—even if they are experiencing severe chest
pain, stroke symptoms or have sustained a serious injury—out of fear they will be
exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of the emergency department at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, understands the concern. “We’ve seen a decrease in patients with less-urgent conditions coming to hospitals and emergency departments—this has allowed us time to build up resources to deal with a potential surge of COVID-19 patients and helped to prevent the spread of the virus,” he says. “But we want to reassure people that Sutter hospitals and emergency departments have plenty of capacity to care for them and we are taking every precaution to maintain stringent safety guidelines. So if you or a loved one are experiencing severe pain or illness or have a serious injury, please don’t delay care. We are prepared to care for you and protect you from the virus while you are receiving care.”
Berrol explains Sutter facilities have put in place safety measures for masking patients and visitor restrictions (with a few exceptions); keeping patients with COVID-19 symptoms away from common waiting areas, entrances and other patients; arranging for environmental service staff to perform extra cleaning and disinfecting; and requiring all staff to have their temperature taken before each shift.
Unsure if you should
make a trip to the emergency department?
If your symptoms don’t seem to rise to the level of an emergency, contact your doctor. Your doctor will determine whether it’s best to schedule you for a video visit or have you come in to a care center or clinic for evaluation.
Check this guide for more information about when to seek emergency or urgent care.