ER visits during the pandemic for non-Covid emergencies have dropped 42% across the United States, when compared to this same time last year, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new research published on Wednesday found that emergency department visits drastically fell from about 2.1 million visits per week between March 31 and April 27 last year, to 1.2 million between March 29 and April 25 this year.
The "steepest decreases" were among children 14 and younger, women and girls, and people living in the Northeast region of the country, CDC researchers noted in the report.
Yet overall, "the proportion of infectious disease-related visits was four times higher during the early pandemic period," according to the report.
In the report, CDC recommended for people to keep using virtual doctor's visits and triage help lines during the pandemic, but not to hesitate seeking care for serious conditions, such as heart attack.
The research had some limitations, including that the number of hospitals reporting to National Syndromic Surveillance Program change over time; the data do not capture all US hospitals, just those who reported to the surveillance program; and the data is limited to emergency department visits only, so people who may have sought treatment elsewhere are not captured in the data.