Utahns Delaying Medical Care, Check-Ups Because Of COVID-19 Fears

Aug 13, 2020, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
(KSL TV)...

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utahns and patients across the country are delaying emergency medical care and regular check-ups because they are afraid of contracting COVID-19 while they are at a hospital or medical clinic, Gov. Gary Herbert said.

Herbert said he became aware of the problem during a recent visit to a Utah intensive care unit.

“We’re finding out that people are, in fact, delaying getting health care that they need to have whether it’s a lack of surgery or a trip to the hospital because they’re afraid to go there because that’s where COVID-19 patients are housed and somehow they feel like that’s maybe not a safe environment,” he said.

Herbert teamed with Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Mark Briesacher to discuss the problem at Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing and reassure Utahns that hospitals and clinics are safe.

“We’ve seen a decrease in the number of people who present to our hospitals with emergency and life-threatening conditions and this actually is true across the country,” Briesacher said. “A national study found that there has been a 40% reduction in the number of patients presenting to have stroke symptoms assessed and treated. There has been a 35% reduction in the number of patients presenting with symptoms of heart attack.”

Briesacher said Utah hospitals and clinics are safe and ready for any health care need.

“In these conditions, every minute counts,” he said. “So please, our hospitals are safe. We’re ready to care for you. Don’t delay care for these life-threatening conditions.”

He gave credit to the Utah Hospital Association and a collaboration with other hospitals across the state to create and execute a plan for identifying and separating coronavirus patients from other people in health care facilities.

“We have in place processes that are designed to keep you and your family safe and designed to keep our caregivers safe,” Briesacher said. “So when you present to our clinics or you present to our emergency department, we screen you and if there is the potential that you have COVID-19 you’re moved into a specific area. If you’re presenting for other things, like you’re having heart symptoms or stroke symptoms or other emergencies, then you’re moved to a different area and cared for in that area.”

He said healthcare workers across the state are taking every precaution including face masks, face shields, gowns and devices that purify the air to ensure everyone is protected from the virus. As medical services increase across the state Dr. Briesacher said facilities are adding extra cleaning and extra testing before medical procedures to make sure patients do not have COVID-19.

He said restrictions for people accompanying patients to health care facilities and visitors will continue.

“It’s really important that you don’t delay care. It’s important for your health, it’s important for our community’s health, and delays in care can actually be life-threatening,” Briesacher said. “If you’re due for a skin cancer screening, breast cancer screening, colon cancer screening, please go and get that done.”

Briesacher also encouraged diabetics, people with heart diseases and other chronic medical conditions to check in with their providers to make sure treatment plans and medications are working correctly.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
2 days ago
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
16 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
22 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
1 month ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utahns Delaying Medical Care, Check-Ups Because Of COVID-19 Fears