What You Should Know About Seeking Health Care

During the height of the pandemic, many healthcare systems and patients postponed non-emergency, in-person care to keep patients and providers safe and to ensure care for COVID-19 patients. As we see a decline in cases of COVID-19, the below recommendations are to help ensure that non-emergency health care resumes safely.

  • Do not postpone necessary care. Some patients have been delaying care for chest pains, stroke symptoms, or other signs and symptoms of potentially serious health conditions. Do NOT postpone care that is urgent or may lead to complications such as heart attack or stroke. Also, do NOT postpone necessary preventive care such as immunizations or cancer screening.
  • Is it safe to go to your doctor or hospital? Talk with your health care provider about your provider’s facilities and the precautions they are putting in place to keep patients safe. Health care providers are making preparations to care for you safely.
  • Consider telehealth or virtual visits. Patients may receive certain care by “telehealth” – audio or audio/visual care via your phone or computer. This reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Ask your provider if telehealth visits are an option.
  • What to expect when you seek healthcare. To prevent you from getting COVID-19, or giving it to others, you may be asked to do the following by your provider:
    • Wear a face covering. A facemask helps limit your risk of getting or spreading disease.
    • Avoid crowded waiting areas. Sometimes you will be asked to wait in your car until your visit. Waiting rooms should have chairs spaced far apart to keep you and others safe.
    • Limit visitors or people who go to your appointment with you. By limiting the number of people, your exposure becomes limited as well.
    • Screening before entering a facility. You, and your visitors, may have your temperature taken, or be asked questions about your health status, before entering a health care facility.