Kaleida Health: It's safe to go to the emergency room

ER visits more than 60% down from same time last year
Posted at 6:59 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 18:59:01-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — According to a recent Morning Consult-American College of Emergency Physicians poll released this week, 29 percent of the more than 2,200 adults surveyed said they had avoided seeking immediate medical care over concerns about contracting coronavirus.

Kaleida Health says the results are consistent with trends across its four local hospitals.

They have seen a more than 60 percent drop in emergency room visits in April compared to the same month last year.

Doctor David Hughes, Kaleida's chief medical officer, says fear is causing people to not seek care for urgent conditions, which could lead to an even greater threat to the health of our community.

In a statement he wrote, "We understand the public's apprehension to visit emergency departments because of the risk of COVID-19 exposure. At this point, the hospital is among the safest places to be right now with the extreme precautions that we have taken to protect patients and staff and to limit the spread of COVID-19."

Kaleida Health has instituted temperature checks upon hospital entry and reentry as well as universal masking, requiring all providers, staff and patients to wear a mask.

In addition, Kaleida implemented even more frequent and rigorous cleaning protocols to ensure facilities and high-touch areas are sanitized and safe.