(WBRE/ WYOU)- In times of emergencies every second counts.
     But what happens when the local hospital emergency room is closed?

That’s about to happen in Schuylkill County.

If you are on your way to the hospital for an emergency, the last thing you want to do is go to the wrong place.

“When someone gets hurt or sick. They are going to what they know,” Dr. Lawrence Riddles, Lehigh Valley Health Network said.

For many that place has been the emergency department of Lehigh Valley Hospital – Schuylkill here on South Jackson Street in Pottsville. 

But starting May 1, patients looking for the emergency department must come to the East Norwegian side of campus to be seen.

the South Jackson location is permanently closing. 
Since the Lehigh Valley Network merged with Schuylkill Health system back in 2016 the hospital has been working on a plan to close the South Jackson Street E.R.

“It’s not enough business at either one to keep two open,” Riddles said.

South Jackson has seen about 14,000 walk-ins a year while the one on first floor North wing of East Norwegian sees more than 27,000.
   And for the past year ambulance arrivals have been directed to the East Norwegian E.R.

“So we combine them to make them more efficient and then to provide quality care is really what we are after,” Riddles said.

  the rest of the medical departments on the South Jackson campus will continue to operate as normal. 

Lehigh Valley Hospital – Schuylkill opened the new East Norwegian emergency department almost two years ago. 
         It has 21 treatment rooms and a four-bed fast track service for patients with minor injuries.

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