Doctor says ER not the best first stop for coronavirus symptoms

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Concern over the coronavirus has some people experiencing symptoms turning to the emergency room for answers.

But officials said that may not be the best place to go.

At Saturday’s COVID-19 coronavirus press conference with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton, they once again emphasized the need for social distancing, and naturally, that is very hard to do in an emergency waiting room.

OhioHealth is seeing their emergency rooms overrun with coronavirus concerns.

This is problematic for a few reasons, officials said. In addition to the social distancing aspect, there is also the matter of taking time and resources away from those who really do need emergency medical attention.

OhioHealth’s Dr. Joseph Gastaldo offered some advice to patients who believe they may need to be tested for the coronavirus.

“If people are having mild cold symptoms, they should contact their primary care physician,” he said. “If patients are short of breath or have a high fever, they should go to the emergency department.”

Gastaldo added the emergency room is not the place to go for routine coronavirus testing.

For any questions regarding the disease, he suggested patients call the Ohio Department of Health coronavirus hotline at 833-4-ASK-ODH (833-427-5634).

As Acton said Saturday, timing is everything when it comes to battling this virus.

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