ER and urgent care visits go up as COVID-19 numbers come down


NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) — The number of people going to emergency rooms and urgent care centers is going up as the number of COVID-19 cases goes down.

“We probably have a 30% to 40% increase in our overall trauma volume,” Dr. Mike Hooper, vice president of Medical Affairs at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, told WAVY.

That includes things such as car and boating accidents, falls and violent crimes.

“We’re seeing a lot more people out in the community. People were in their homes for the better part of last year not doing the things they wanted to do, so, hypothetically that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing so much more trauma volume,” Hooper said.

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It’s a similar story at urgent care centers.

Dr. Maulin Desai at Patient First on Holland Road in Virginia Beach told us they are seeing a plethora of patients whose injuries run the gamut, from broken bones and ankle sprains, to cuts and fish hook injuries.

“Our bodies are not in the same shape they were pre-COVID and so it’s a matter of gradually getting back to our activity levels rather than jumping in full force,’ Desai said.

Now that the masks are coming off Desai added those regular respiratory infections that seemed to disappear last year are returning.

He prescribes continued good hand hygiene and covering coughs and sneezes to cut down on spreading the viruses.

“Enjoy yourself, have fun, just do it safely,” he said.

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