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When to seek emergency care if you’re Covid-19 positive

EL PASO, Texas -- Covid-19 hospitalizations in El Paso are at the highest level they've been since December 2020. With hundreds more El Pasoans testing positive each day, that number is expected to grow.

If you're currently sick with Covid-19 it can be difficult to know whether you should seek medical care. Knowing if symptoms will improve or worsen is a dilemma that thousands of infected people currently face.

Dr. Ed Michelson, the Chief of emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center of El Paso said if you start experiencing symptoms like unexplained fever, severe shortness of breath, unexplained chest pain, especially for several days, that's when you should seek emergency care.

"We are really busy," Dr. Michelson said. "Hospitals are under stress. If you get vaccinated, and you get your booster, you're much less likely to need to come see us and that's going to take pressure off of our hospitals."

Hospitals across the borderland also reminding patients that emergency rooms are not Covid-19 testing sites.

Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 hit a new peak across the country on Tuesday, as hospitals deal with staffing shortages making matters worse. However, Dr. Michelson believes El Paso is fairing much better. Dr. Michelson adds that about 80 percent of El Paso patients he's seen are unvaccinated.

As the number of hospitalizations grows, Dr. Michelson said he does not believe hospitals here will hit a new peak.

"I think with omicron, it's not likely that we're going to get up to something like 1,100, 1,150," Dr. Michelson said. "We're at half of what our peak was in November of 2020. I don't expect to see those numbers come back. The best thing we can do to prevent those numbers coming back is taking all the precautions."

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.


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