ER visits declined 42% during the first few weeks of the pandemic, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But delaying care will lead to a surge in hospitalizations later, unnecessarily putting lives at risk, according to the American Medical Association and other experts.
“We understand patients are concerned about COVID-19 but we have implemented a number of safeguards to keep you safe when you come to the emergency department,” said Dr. John Piotrowski, chairman of emergency medicine at Advocate Condell Medical Center. “If you’re experiencing an emergency, please don’t think twice about coming here for care.”
Clara Arbiser didn’t hesitate to seek care at Condell’s emergency room when she suffered a painful dislocated right hip in mid-May during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon entering the hospital, the 77-year-old Mundelein resident immediately was given a mask to wear and noticed that everyone around her also were wearing masks. That made her feel safe, she said.
Universal masking is one of the tenets of Advocate Aurora Health’s Safe Care Promise, which also includes:
- Virtual check-in: Using digital devices to check in provides seamless, low-contact arrivals.
- Social distancing: Our rearranged waiting areas and staggered appointment times reduce traffic and create safe spaces.
- Enhanced cleaning: We’ve enhanced cleaning in all areas, including additional disinfectant for high-touch spaces
Recovering at home and undergoing physical therapy, Arbiser is so grateful for the care she received that she posted a positive testimonial on her LinkedIn account to give kudos to the responding paramedics and emergency department team.
“You are an incredible group of compassionate professionals and I celebrate you,” she wrote.
Is it safe to have food delivered?
With indoor dining still on hold at many restaurants, ordering food can be a nice alternative to cooking yet another meal for your family.
But is it safe to get food delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic? Dr. Robert Citronberg, director of infectious disease at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, says yes. In fact, he’s been ordering takeout during the pandemic.
“There’s never been any evidence to suggest that this virus can be transmitted by takeout food,” Dr. Citronberg said during a recent Facebook Live event.
“If there’s any concerns about getting anything on your hands before you eat, wash your hands, which you probably should be doing anyway before you eat,” he says.
Be sure to practice social distancing by waiting for the delivery person to drop off the food at your door before opening the door to retrieve your meal.
If you’re looking to get out of the house, many restaurants offer curbside delivery. Wearing your mask and staying inside your car until your order is ready can help prevent the spread of the virus. If you go inside the restaurant for a carryout order, remember to use hand sanitizer before entering and practice social distancing once you’re inside.
Dr. Citronberg’s comments came during a Facebook Live event where he and other experts answered questions about common COVID-19 myths. You can find the full video below.