MountainStar Health - April 07, 2020

During this uncertain time, you may be asking yourself many healthcare questions. Many people find themselves wondering how the coronavirus is going to impact care unrelated to the pandemic, such as emergency and urgent care. We know emergencies don't wait, even for COVID-19. Our staff is still available 24/7 to provide you the high-quality emergency care you deserve, when you need it most.

When should I go to the emergency room (ER) during the COVID-19 quarantine?

Although there are some instances in which patients might reconsider going to a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, needing emergency care should not be one of them. For example, although elective surgeries are being postponed, receiving care for broken bones or concussions is just as important as ever. At HCA Healthcare, our hospitals offer this care, including treatment for:

Heart attacks

The possibility of a heart attack should always be taken seriously. Patients who think they may be experiencing a heart attack should seek emergency care immediately, as timely intervention leads to improved patient outcomes. The warning signs of a heart attack can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the chest that spreads to the arm, neck or jaw
  • Pressure, tightness or pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath

Our expert ER doctors and cardiologists provide advanced heart attack treatment and are standing by 24/7 to ensure you receive high-quality care.

If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.


In regards to a stroke, every minute matters. Patients who think they are experiencing a stroke should still seek emergency care immediately. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke can help patients determine when to seek emergency care, which provides lifesaving time for doctor’s to intervene.

Symptoms of a stroke can occur suddenly and include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
  • Trouble walking
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Severe injuries

Patients who experience a severe injury are still encouraged to seek emergency care, especially if you are experiencing:

  • Extreme bleeding
  • Intense pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of function

Severe injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Deep cuts
  • Head injuries
  • Injuries to the neck or spine
  • Major burns

Our experienced emergency care doctors, including neurologists and orthopedic surgeons, are prepared to provide treatment for these and other injuries.

When should I stay home or seek urgent care during COVID-19?

We want to ensure every patient receives the care they need, but encourage patients to avoid increased exposure if possible. Therefore, although seeking care during an emergency is important, you should avoid going to the ER for mild symptoms and conditions—avoiding the extra risk of exposure to the virus. These symptoms and conditions can include:

  • Allergies
  • Cold symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear or sinus pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Mild fever
  • Minor cuts or scrapes
  • Nausea
  • Rashes and minor burns
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains and strains

Instead, these can usually be treated at an urgent care center or via a virtual doctor’s appointment.