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Local emergency rooms see less foot traffic

Posted at 6:58 AM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 09:58:40-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — At local hospitals, it's "all hands on deck" to treat the Coronavirus outbreak in our community.

As shelter in place and social distancing become the new normal, hospitals see a drop in emergency room traffic.

“Throughout Kern County our hospital census has significantly gone down. I think people are staying at home people who typically would come for minor stuff are staying home," said Dr. Kothary, Memorial Hospital.

Dr.Kothary says he now sees 50% of the patients he normally would.

“We’re limiting the amount of patients we see physically its a lot of video chatting and phone calls. People who would come in routinely for diabetes now were doing that on the phone, FaceTime, or any other telehealth formality," said Dr.Kothary.

The drop in foot traffic has allowed emergency room doctors to focus on Covid-19 patients as well as protect others from possible Covid-19 exposure.

“In general the number of patients in the hospital is lower so we now have a lot of beds available, number of patients that come to the E.R. is lower so the doctors can help them better and we don't have a lot of people waiting in the lobby," said Dr.Kothary.

The hospitals have yet to use crisis or surge tents, which are already set up at the hospitals.