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  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Johnathan Comer

The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus is real and apparent to us all. This pandemic has created an unprecedented time within our communities and in our healthcare system. It has led to extreme but critical measures, such as social distancing and the Safer-At-Home Order, in the hopes of keeping as many people safe and healthy as possible. In fact, Los Angeles County just extended the Safer at Home Order until at least May 15.

At this time, when home isolation is often encouraged, we want to remind you this is not the same as medical isolation. If you or a loved one is having symptoms that could possibly be an indicator of a medical emergency, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, and weakness, visit your nearest Emergency Department. Please remember that your Emergency Departments are prepared and available to evaluate patients safely 24/7. Lately, we have begun to see patients that have waited too long to come to the Emergency Department for their life-threatening conditions due to an understandable fear of being exposed to COVID-19 or the coronavirus. We would like to stress to you that prolonged medical isolation for concerning symptoms may have detrimental effects on your health and we encourage you to seek immediate medical care in these situations.

If you are having mild respiratory symptoms or flu-like illness, it is best to stay home and manage your symptoms in consultation with your primary care provider. This helps protect you, your family, and the patients in the Emergency Department. However, should these symptoms worsen, or you have an injury, our Emergency Department is here for you.

COVID-19 testing is available through the Centinela Hospital Emergency Department and other areas within LA County -- Common symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest, lack of smell, and lack of taste.

During this really trying time, your health is the most important thing to us. Stay safe and healthy.

Mohammad A Nasser, RN, MSN, MBA, Chief Operating Officer & Interim CEO

Jay Melton, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Department