Residents Encourged to Continue Seeking Routine, Emergency Medical Care During COVID-19
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on May 05, 2020, May 05, 2020

Medical Care

Arlington residents should not be discouraged from seeking routine or emergency medical care for themselves or their children because of the coronavirus. That’s the message from Dr. Cynthia Simmons, the City of Arlington’s Public Health Authority, who is leading Arlington’s COVID-19 response and oversees other community health concerns.

Visits to physicians and hospital emergency departments are down in the city, which Dr. Simmons said could mean that residents are allowing their illnesses and diseases to worsen without treatment. But with virtual visit options as well as office visit protocols designed to protect against the spread of COVID-19, residents are encouraged to continue to attend well-child appointments and routine visits for chronic health conditions.

“The hospitals and clinics have the ability and expertise to keep their patients safe,” Dr. Simmons said.

Pediatric healthcare providers are using strategies to separate well visits from sick visits or placing sick patients in an area of their clinic away from patients who are there for immunizations or well visits. Other strategies used to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in communities include using telemedicine instead of face-to-face encounters for routine medical visits.

“If you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, you can ask about telemedicine options so that you can get prescriptions refilled or be seen without going in person and risking exposure,” Dr. Simmons said.

“People should continue to utilize the emergency room as they need to. These hospitals are still ready to care for heart attacks, strokes and car accidents that unfortunately happen every day,” Dr. Simmons said. “Hospitals are there for all of their needs, not just COVID.”