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Emergency physicians to public: Do your part to keep ER docs safe amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Washington — The American College of Emergency Physicians is urging members of the public to remain at home and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for physical distancing to help keep physicians safe and minimize the risk of spreading the potentially deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.

“Emergency physicians are working tirelessly to protect as many people as possible,” ACEP President William Jaquis said in a March 25 press release. “This is the only way to slow the virus and the best strategy to prevent our health system from becoming overwhelmed.”

The organization stresses the importance of putting at least 6 feet between yourself and others during the pandemic.

“Even if you think you are healthy, spending time in groups or in public could spread the virus to people you are close with,” Jaquis said. “Young people, older people and everyone in between needs to follow the recommended steps for [physical] distancing.”

On March 14, Jaquis issued a statement to ACEP members in response to reports of two emergency physicians being in critical condition after contracting COVID-19. Although the news left him “deeply saddened,” Jaquis was unsurprised.

 

“It is my hope that these colleagues and their cases serve as a reminder to each of us to stay vigilant,” Jaquis said. “This virus is dangerous, and its impact is still unfolding. As emergency physicians, we answer the call to care for our most vulnerable, even at great personal risk. Knowing that, I urge each of you to meticulously follow the recommended precautions to protect yourself.”

ACEP has published resources designed to help members of the public minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.

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