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NEWARK, NJ – Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark remains open to serve emergency needs for non-COVID related issues, especially for conditions where early diagnosis and treatment can be lifesaving, such as heart attack.

“Our Emergency Department remains open, safe and ready to serve patients and our community, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week,” said Dr. Hamid Shaaban, the chief medical officer of Saint Michael’s Medical Center. “Our emergency room and physicians remain ready to care for you.”

Shaaban said he is concerned that some in the community might ignore danger signs and postpone trips to the ER for fear of being exposed to the coronavirus. While Saint Michael’s is treating COVID-19 patients, ensuring safe access to emergency medical care continues to be a top priority.

Saint Michael’s received an A for the last four periods from the Leapfrog Group for patient safety and the Patient Safety Excellence Award™ from Healthgrades in May.

“We are well prepared to handle non-COVID emergencies as well as able to deal with an influx of potential COVID-19 cases, and are following all state, local and federal guidelines to safeguard our staff and other patients from exposure,” Shaaban said.

The stay-at-home order issued by Governor Phil Murphy makes an exception for those in need of emergency medical treatments. Signs or symptoms of medical emergencies should not be ignored. Those experiencing signs of a heart attack or stroke, such as chest pain or sudden muscle weakness, should still call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately.

Information on the potential warning signs of a heart attack can be found here.

Those experiencing mild flu-like symptoms should consult with their primary care physician while taking precautions to self-isolate and limit contact with family members while at home. If symptoms worsen, however, visit an emergency room as soon as possible.