In a recent morning briefing, Dr. Ramon Nunez, emergency medical director at AdventHealth Celebration, and Dr. Ademola Adewale, assistant program for the Emergency Medicine Residency at AdventHealth East Orlando, discussed how emergency departments are handling COVID-19 cases in Central Florida and how individuals should think about emergency care during this pandemic.

Highlights from the briefing include:

Do not go to an emergency room to get tested for COVID-19. If you believe you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, do a self-assessment for risk factors. If you show no symptoms and are in good health, self-isolate for 14 days. If you feel you need a test, wait five days and then proceed to an urgent care facility, such as Centra Care, which has extended hours and offers the rapid test and PCR test. County health departments also provide testing.

Seek emergency care if you feel sick and are symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath or high fever. If you feel ill and have a health concern you feel is putting you in danger, go to the hospital to be examined. You know your body better than anyone else, and if something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out.

If you are experiencing signs of a heart attack or stroke or have been in an accident and require medical attention, go directly to an emergency room. All emergency departments are following safety and cleaning protocols to keep you safe from COVID-19. Do not let fear of the virus keep you from seeking care when you need it most.

“If you feel sick and you have concerns, come to the hospital. We are here to care for you. I do not want our population to play doctor. Come, we’ll check you out,” said Adewale. “Peace of mind is priceless, and I want to give you that reassurance in case something else is going on.”

The physicians also addressed dealing with children who may have COVID-19 symptoms.

“Prevention is better than any treatment,” said Nunez. “If your child starts to develop symptoms, be smart and wise about it. Try to stay home and take precautions. As they improve, they may resume their activities as tolerated. Usually, these symptoms resolve before the two weeks are up. The pediatric population, because they are young and healthy, are resilient and they recover well.”

A video of the AdventHealth briefing is posted on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida Facebook page.