Urgent Care centers seeing long waits due to COVID-19 surge

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Some people are lining up at local urgent care offices to get a COVID test, be seen by medical professionals, and more.

A surge of COVID cases hasn’t only brought more into local hospitals, but also doctor officers and urgent care centers like in Rincon.

A nurse practitioner said they’ve watched their daily patient count go from 60 to 150.

“Since the surge we’ve seen a drastic increase in the number of patients here we’ve actually doubled and sometimes tripled our number of patients per day. We’re seeing a sicker population right now, people that do need care unfortunately that were not able sometimes to get care at the emergency rooms because they are so busy,” Nurse Practitioner Angela Odom, with St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, said.

Urgent Care leaders in Rincon say their normal wait time is around 15-20 minutes but right now it’s more than two hours. While they are doing their best to increase staff and care for all, they say it’s a challenge with such high volumes showing up from all over the region.

Though they do see patients for a variety of reasons, leaders say there’s a lot of COVID concerns from symptoms and exposures, some who are very ill. They run both rapid and PCR tests and say right now more than 50 percent of them are positive.

As many wait in line for care, officials encourage you to go online and make an appointment or schedule a virtual visit.

“We are here for you guys, the community as a whole we do you know have our patient population in this area as well as some of the outlying cities and counties so please be patient with us. Please come by have a rapid test done, if you need higher level of care, we’ll be glad, glad to get you in the right place,’ Odom said.

While this office doesn’t offer the vaccine, they encourage you to sign up to get your shot. They say it’s important people keep their distance, wear a mask and think of others as they continue to try and manage this pandemic.

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