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Kaleida Health seeing 50 percent less patients

Officials say it's because people are scared of being exposed to COVID-19 in the ER. However, many hospitals are taking several precautions to keep you safe.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to officials at Kaleida Health, all of their hospitals are seeing about 50 percent less patients coming through their emergency rooms for non-coronavirus related medical issues.

They believe it's because everyone is worried about getting the virus.

Though doctors say you if you need medical care, hospitals are still the best place to seek treatment.

Kaleida Health is seeing less patients come in with chest pains, strokes, heart attacks, appendicitis, infected gall bladders and bowel obstructions.

Dr. Michael Mineo, Millard-Fillmore Suburban's chief medical officer, says people should not avoid hospitals because they have several safety precautions in place. 

Before a patient can even in come into the hospital, they're asked several questions and have their temperature checked. 

All patients receive masks and healthcare workers wear personal protective equipment as well. 

Doctors say if you need immediate medical attention and don't come in, things will only get worse. 

"What's most important is to make sure that no one is delaying necessary medical care," Mineo said. "American Cancer Society did a survey and found out that one in four people with cancer are delaying or avoiding medical treatment. We know that will actually worsen the prognosis in the long run so please, be smart but get the care that you need."

Mineo says you should call your primary doctor or one of Kaleida Health's telehealth physicians to determine if you need to go to the hospital. 

If you have severe or life threatening symptoms, call 911.

Mineo added that the number of COVID-19 patients has stabilized over the last week at Kaleida hospitals.

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