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COVID-19 concerns keeping people away from the ER, survey shows

Photo: dlewis33/iStockphoto

Irving, TX — Nearly 1 out of 3 U.S. adults say they’ve delayed or avoided seeking medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic out of fear of contracting the disease, results of a recent survey indicate.

Market research company Morning Consult, on behalf of the American College of Emergency Physicians, surveyed more than 2,200 U.S. adults from April 18 to 20 to gauge the public’s level of concern over seeking medical care during this public health crisis. Results show that 80% of the respondents were concerned about contracting COVID-19 if they had to go to an emergency room for care, while 73% worried their visit could overstress the health care system.


Other findings:

  • 80% of the respondents said they were following physical distancing guidelines, but only 64% had access to a facemask.
  • 59% were concerned about not being treated by an emergency physician if they needed care.
  • 74% were fearful about contracting another illness by going to a medical facility.
  • 74% were worried about wait times and overcrowding.

“Waiting to see a doctor if you think you’re having a medical emergency could be life-threatening,” ACEP President William Jaquis said in a press release. “While it’s important to stay home and following [physical] distancing guidelines, it’s critical to always know when to go to the emergency department.”

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