Officials at both Mercy and CoxHealth are wanting to remind the public that they’re still open for business even in the wake of restrictions from COVID-19 if you’re facing an illness or emergency.
Doctors at both hospital systems are reporting that traffic in the emergency room and urgent care facilities are down because people are concerned they may catch the virus that causes COVID-19 in a waiting room, but they say that if you’re sick or need immediate care, you need to come in to a facility.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had instances where people have waited at home a little too long before they came to see us,” Dr. Mark Griesemer, medical director for the ER at Mercy Hospital Springfield said in a statement. “We understand they don’t want to unnecessarily expose themselves to germs in the waiting room, but time matters when it comes to many serious conditions.”
CoxHealth said in a statement that their Emergency Departments are still operating 24/7, along with urgent care in Springfield’s Turner Center. Urgent cares in Springfield, Ozark, Monett, Branson, and Lebanon are open daily for patients to walk in.
Both health systems have set up tent to triage potential COVID-19 cases, so people who are seeking treatment out of concern for possible novel coronavirus infection are not in waiting rooms of emergency departments or urgent care centers.
“We appreciate our friends and neighbors adapting so quickly to our changes to help prepare for patients with COVID-19,” Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, said in their statement. “It is equally important to us that people know that we are still prepared to serve them if they have other issues that come up that require immediate or ongoing care. Their health is still very important to us at this time as well.”
At the very least, someone who is experiencing an issue with their health who is uncomfortable going into an urgent care should contact their primary care physician and follow their advice if they’re told to come to an urgent care or emergency department.