As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, San Angelo hospitals and ER facilities are experiencing a significant decrease in ER cases for emergencies and illnesses that are non-COVID-related. It's about an 80% decrease.

A survey published by JAMA Network Open shows that because of fear of COVID-19 exposure, about one in five adults avoid going to the hospital even if they are experiencing symptoms typical of emergency medical conditions.

Dr. James Vretis, San Angelo/Tom Green County local health authority, said......            "I am not sure why they are not showing up at the ER. I can say that our numbers of people that we normally see for chest pain, back pain, the usual thing that fills up an emergency department, we do just not see them anymore".

Health researchers say that many people in need of medical treatment are avoiding emergency rooms out of fear of contracting COVID-19 from other patients in crowded emergency rooms.

 Vretis said....despite a decrease in everyday patients coming to hospitals, medical experts are getting patients coming in for other needs. Major trauma, we see right away. Someone comes in with an acute stroke, they get seen right away. Theoretically, there is a risk, but if you show up at Walmart or any store in town, there is a risk you can get it there too. Where a mask, get vaccinated, do the smart thing. He said the risk will always be there; however, it is vital to continue taking the necessary measures to do one's best to avoid getting COVID-19".

Individuals are encouraged to contact their medical providers for emergency medical needs, including COVID-19.

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