Emergency room visits fell 42% in April, CDC finds

Emergency room visits were down by more than 40 percent in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new CDC report.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program, which collects real-time electronic health data from more than 3,500 hospitals in 47 states. The agency looked at the weekly number of ER visits recorded in the database between Jan. 1, 2019, and May 30, 2020.

The average number of weekly ER visits was 1.2 million between March 29 and April 25. This figure marks a 42 percent drop from the 2.1 million visits seen during the same period a year prior. The proportion of infectious disease-related ER visits was also nearly four times larger than figures seen during this time in 2019.  

Hospitals reported the lowest number of ER visits during the week of April 12. While the average weekly number of ER visits has increased since then, levels seen for the week of May 24 were still 26 percent down from the same week in 2019.

The sharpest drop in ER use occurred among women, people living in the Northeast and children age 14 and under.

To view the full report, click here.


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