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County Urges Those with Mild COVID and Non-Serious Illness to Avoid Emergency Rooms

In light of a current 121% surge in coronavirus cases in Santa Cruz County, public health officials are requesting that residents with mild cases of COVID and non-serious seasonal illnesses avoid overburdening local hospital emergency rooms.

A statement released on January 5 states, “Most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not need to visit the hospital’s emergency department and can effectively recover from their illness at home, or by seeking primary care treatment and/or speaking with their primary care provider. People with severe COVID-19 symptoms such as significant difficulty breathing, intense chest pain, severe weakness, or an elevated temperature that persists for days are among those who should consider seeking emergency medical care for their condition.”

Mild to moderate symptoms include: cough, runny nose, body aches and sore throat, runny nose, or body aches. If the citizen is looking for a test, those can be administered by primary care providers and at numerous testing sites around the county.

“Unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments place great strain on hospitals and the frontline healthcare workers who continue to bravely battle the pandemic. Such visits can also cause a delay in care for patients experiencing a true medical crisis and contribute to the depletion of finite resources including medical staff, testing kits, personal protective equipment, and therapeutic treatments.”

For local information on COVID-19 including where to get vaccinated or tested go to or call (831) 454-4242 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Read the County’s press release here.

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