Jacksonville doctors stress ERs, pediatrician offices are safe amid pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At Memorial Hospital’s pediatric emergency room on Thursday, nurses screened visitors and patients at the entrance.

“We are taking unprecedented measures to make sure that this place is safe,” said Dr. Megan Brown, Pediatric Emergency Department Director.

When people enter the hospital, nurses are asking a few health questions, taking temperatures and providing a mandatory mask. In the waiting room of the pediatric ER, the seats are spaced out.

But, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brown said visits to the pediatric ER are down 50% to 70%.

“It’s worrisome because you figure people who really need to come here are afraid to so they’re not,” explained Brown. “If they stay home, they get worse so the people who are coming in are coming in by ambulance, they’re coming in really sick because they’ve waited at home.”

At Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Dr. Mobeen Rathore said the other concern is parents putting off vaccinations.

“We are concerned that if kids don’t get their vaccine, there may be an outbreak of a different disease down the road,” said Rathore. “Yes, COVID-19 is a serious thing, MIS-C is a concern, but don’t forget there is a lot you can do to protect your children by taking them to the pediatrician and getting the vaccines.”

As the pandemic continues, doctors are stressing that hospitals and doctor’s offices are safe with many extra measures in place to treat patients.

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