Cheyenne Regional Medical Center announced Wednesday that it's now offering virtual visits to its emergency department.

"We are providing this virtual, or telehealth, option specifically for Laramie County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be assessed from home,” said CRMC’s Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Jessica Hughes.

“A telehealth assessment can determine if the patient’s condition can be managed safely at home or if the patient needs to come to the emergency department to be evaluated in person,” Hughes added.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, patients may also be referred for a test at CRMC’s drive-through clinic.

“While we do have more testing capacity for COVID-19 right now, a referral to our drive-through testing site will still depend on our clinical evaluation and the hospital’s available resources,” said Hughes.

Hughes says people who may be feeling nervous about leaving home to seek emergent care can also take advantage of the virtual visits, but she cautions that they're not appropriate for people with life-threatening conditions.

"Anyone in an emergency situation, which would include a heart attack, stroke or diabetic emergency, should call 911 right away,” she said.

Those wishing to visit the emergency department remotely will need to have a phone or computer with video capability to log into the site at cheyenneregional.org/virtualED. After logging in, the patient will be registered and placed briefly in a virtual waiting room while a clinician connects to the site.

CRMC says patients who come to the hospital's emergency department within 24 hours of a virtual visit and who are seeking care for the same issue will only be billed for the in-person visit.

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