nurse wearing mask

Message from an Emergency Room Nurse

nurse wearing mask

I am very discouraged by the unsafe behavior of many coming to the ER.

People who have barely a sniffle are showing up to be tested and then becoming upset when they are refused. The hospitals have guidelines for testing that they are required to follow. Please remember, whether you are tested or not, your treatment and care will be the same.

Once supplies become available, more people will be tested. Testing helps create a snapshot of where the virus is in the county. However, there is enough data to show COVID-19 is spreading and to stop it from doings so, everyone must do their part. The virus spreads from person-to-person contact. The more people are around each other, the more the virus will spread.

If you have or think you may have COVID-19, you don’t need a test to do what is needed, which is to stay home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Be sure to separate or keep a six-foot distance between other people or animals inside your home. Stay in a specific “sick room” if possible, and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Also, clean high-touch surfaces often.

Most people who are sick with COVID-19 do not need hospitalization. However, if symptoms worsen, call a healthcare provider and describe your symptoms. If it’s an emergency, call 911. Calling ahead will help medical professionals take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

People who are presumed positive but whose symptoms are not severe are sent home and instructed to quarantine themselves. They are not admitted to the hospital. There are many other viral and respiratory diseases going around and the precautions are the same. If you are over 65 years old, an infant (especially premature ones), have an existing respiratory issue (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or COPD), are immunocompromised due to another illness, or have autoimmune disease, then you are at high risk.

The last place anyone needs to be is the ER where there are many people with unknown illnesses gathered. You are putting yourself at risk by going there.

If you have ANY respiratory illness you should be quarantining yourself, because even if you do not have Covid-19, your body is fighting off an illness and your immune system is weakened, which means you are now at risk for catching the virus if you come in contact with it.

Please, stay home, quarantine from others if you have any symptoms, practice good hygiene, drink fluids, and take vitamins. If you are not in the high risk categories, you will survive. Do not risk infection by going to an ER to be “labeled” if your symptoms are no worse than the common cold or flu.

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