For months, Patricia Merryweather-Arges, a health care expert, has fielded questions about the coronavirus pandemic from fellow Rotary Club members in the Midwest.

Recently people have asked, “Is it safe for me to go see my doctor? Should I keep that appointment with my dentist? What about that knee replacement I put on hold: Should I go ahead with that?”

These are pressing concerns as hospitals, outpatient clinics and physicians’ practices have started providing elective medical procedures — services that had been suspended for several months.

Late last month, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 48 percent of adults had skipped or postponed medical care because of the pandemic. Physicians are deeply concerned about the consequences, especially for people with serious illnesses or chronic medical conditions.

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