Don’t delay care: Hospitals are sanitized and safe, health care officials say

Medical professionals are available to assist you with an emergency during COVID-19

Methodist Healthcare's staff uses chemicals that kill 99% of germs.

While some people are avoiding emergency rooms and hospitals because they fear they may contract COVID-19, as a result, these individuals who need emergency care are not receiving it in time, if at all.

Dr. Diana Henderson, chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital Metropolitan, reassured the public that hospitals are a safe place -- and are highly sanitized.

We reviewed the following questions and answers:

Question No. 1: When should people seek help and why is it so important not to wait?

“Some medical conditions are really important to have treated within one hour of beginning symptoms, such as heart attacks and strokes,” Henderson said. “It’s really important to get to the emergency room right away. What we are seeing is people are scared. They’re staying at home. Conditions that could have been treated with medications then have really bad outcomes and people become very ill and even pass away. We want people to know that even with COVID-19, you still need to come into the hospital.”

Takeaway: If you have a life-threatening infection or suspect you might have a heart attack or stroke, seek medical attention.

No. 2: What’s the procedure for sanitization at the hospitals, and how safe are they?

“With health care at all times, we want to provide a germ-free environment for our patients,” Henderson said. “With COVID-19, we are just stepping that up.”

Methodist Healthcare’s housekeeping staff uses hospital-grade solvents that kill 99% of all microorganisms, including COVID-19, the health system said.

The housekeeping staff will spend more than an hour disinfecting and sterilizing rooms between patients. Every surface, from the floors to the ceilings to the walls, is cleaned.

Takeaway: Hospitals continue to be safe for patients.

No. 3: Why is it so important to wear a mask, and when should you wear one?

“Wearing a mask is so important for decreasing the spread of COVID-19,” Henderson said. “People should wear a mask anytime they are outside of their home. You’re protecting yourself and you’re protecting others. Stay at home, wear a mask but when you need care, come to the hospital and know that it is a safe place.”

Takeaway: Wash your hands frequently, social distance at least 6 feet from other people and wear a facial covering in public.

Concerned about whether you have COVID-19, or worried about any other health problem? Methodist Healthcare can help.