Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

ER Visits Drop 42 Percent Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Emergency room sign
Flickr Creative Commons
The number of emergency department visits averaged 1.2 million per week during the period, down from an average of 2.1 million visits during the same period last year, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

The number of emergency room visits nationally between March 29 and April 25 decreased 42 percent compared to the previous year, but the number of visits for infectious-disease screenings or exposures increased four-fold, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of emergency department visits averaged 1.2 million per week during the period, down from an average of 2.1 million visits during the same period last year, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

The lowest number of emergency room visits occurred during the period from April 12 to April 18, the report said.

And while visits increased during the week of May 24 to May 30, they still were 26 percent less than during the same time in 2019.

“The striking decline in ED (emergency department ) visits nationwide, with the highest declines in regions where the pandemic was most severe in April 2020, suggests that the pandemic has altered the use of the ED by the public,” the report said. “Persons who use the ED as a safety net because they lack access to primary care and telemedicine might be disproportionately affected if they avoid seeking care because of concerns about the infection risk in the ED.”

Data indicate that emergency visits declined for every age group, with the largest declines in visits by children under the age of 10 and children ages 11 to 14.

Those groups experienced a 72 percent decline and a 71 percent decline in emergency room visits, respectively.

Additionally, the data indicate that emergency room visits declined 37 percent among males during the four-week period compared to the prior year and 45 percent among females.