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COVID-19 overwhelms urgent care clinics, leaves patients waiting hours, days for tests or treatment

Everything from getting a COVID test to a checkup at an urgent care is taking longer.
Everything from getting a COVID test to a checkup at an urgent care is taking longer.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 9:33 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -The ongoing surge of COVID-19 is forcing medical resources to be stretched thin. Everything from getting a COVID test to a checkup at an urgent care clinic is taking longer.

WBTV’s Nikki Hauser talked to people who said they waited between two and five hours Tuesday for a COVID test.

Not only are lines backed up, so are several urgent care clinics.

Eight urgent care clinics told WBTV they did not have day-of availability.

“Busy,” said Torie Manning, AFC Urgent Care state director. “We are very much so inundated right now with more patients than we have hours in a day.”

COVID-19 overwhelms urgent care clinics, leaves patients waiting hours, days for tests or treatment

As COVID and flu cases pile up, urgent care staff is slammed and appointments are lacking. What’s supposed to be a quick, day-of visit, may turn into hours or days of waiting, if your situation isn’t dire.

As employees at StarMed and AFC catching COVID themselves, clinics struggle to keep up with the demand.

“They’re getting sick, they’re worn down, we’re working around the clock as best as we can,” Manning said.

This comes as the state hit a 21% COVID-19 positivity rate. In the clinics, it’s even worse.

“We certainly are seeing approximately about a 50% COVID positivity rate with our patient volume, which is way more than we’ve seen this whole time,” explained Manning.

Urgent care clinics are asking their patients to be patient. They say if your situation is serious, make sure you’re checked out. If not, try widening your search and contacting other clinics in your area.

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