COVID-19 Press Conference

Dr. John McNeill speaks at a daily news conference over COVID-19 on Thursday.

Q: Should I cancel or postpone my nonemergency doctor appointments?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes for the everyday lives of residents as well as the urgent recommendation to avoid being around groups of people except when essential.

When addressing whether Victoria residents should cancel or postpone nonemergency doctor appointments, Dr. John McNeill, Victoria’s local health authority, said during a news conference Thursday that he recommends that if possible, they be postponed.

McNeill recommended that all elective surgeries be postponed. As far as nonemergency or routine appointments to one’s doctor, McNeill said at his practice, he is calling his patients and telling them that if they don’t need to be seen, they should not come in for a routine visit.

The recommendation is especially important for patients who are 65 or older, McNeill said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

“In my opinion, the risk of them coming out and coming to my office is greater than any benefit that I could do,” McNeill said.

However, people who need urgent medical help or have an appointment scheduled with their doctor for something more serious than an elective surgery or routine appointment should keep their appointment, McNeill said. Residents should also remember that emergency departments are open to visit in the case of an emergency, he said.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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