ER Wait Time | Door To Provider: 14 minutes | If this is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Patients Suffering Non-COVID-19 Emergencies, Such as Heart Attacks or Strokes, Should Not Delay Care and Still Visit ER.

Ensuring safe access to emergency medical care continues to be important, even during a pandemic. The Emergency Department physicians and staff at Alvarado Hospital, a member of Prime Healthcare, remain available to serve emergency needs for non-COVID related issues. Patients should not delay care when needed, especially for conditions where early diagnosis and treatment can be lifesaving, such as heart attack and stroke.

Recent trends suggest that patients are not seeking care for emergencies and delays in diagnosis are leading to poor outcomes. Stay-at-home orders issued by public health agencies make exceptions 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 strokes, such as chest pain or sudden muscle weakness, should still call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately.

“Our Emergency Department remains open, safe and ready to serve patients and our community, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week,” said Robin Gomez, CEO of Alvarado Hospital, who added that the hospital is concerned that some people might ignore danger signs and postpone trips to the ER for fear of being exposed to the coronavirus. “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.”

Alvarado Hospital is an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, as well as a San Diego County designated STEMI severe heart attack Receiving Center. The hospital has been awarded the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award five years in a row (2015-2019), the Leapfrog Grade A for Patient Safety Excellence, and has a five-star rating on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website. Its new 32-bed emergency services wing is fully equipped with the latest medical instrumentation and is staffed by dedicated and knowledgeable healthcare professionals.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we take extra precautions to segregate visitors to our emergency room who show symptoms of the disease. Those who are symptomatic for COVID-19 are taken into a separate triage area and remain separated from the general patient population for the duration of their stay.

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 – including a consistent cough and fever — visit an emergency room as soon as possible.

Information on the potential warning signs of a heart attack can be found here: For signs of a stroke, visit