COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Patients numbers in emergency departments in El Paso County are hitting record lows, with many people delaying life-saving treatment.
Hospitals, like UCHealth, normally treat 245 to 260 patients per day. Now, those numbers are dropping to 120 to 140 patients per day, a 50% decline.
Dr. David Steinbruner, associate chief medical officer at UCHealth Memorial, says, "We really want those people who have emerging conditions or potentially emerging conditions to come in. If you don’t know, come in. You’re safe from COVID here."
Steinbruner adds, "When we asked people to stay at home if they have mild symptoms, people took that in earnest and took that a little bit overboard even when they had chest pain or abdominal pain."
Steinbruner, who is also an emergency medicine physician, recommends that people come into the emergency departments if they're experiencing a life-threatening emergency or chronic illness. He noted that they've seen people who have even had strokes who stayed away.
Watch the full story tonight on KRDO NewsChannel 13.