Over the last few decades, the use of urgent care centers has expanded across the United States. Urgent care clinics have always pitched themselves as a step right below an emergency department, but with the novel coronavirus that has spread around the world, that assertion is now being put to the test. However, urgent care centers are operating much like they always have and their goal is the same as always- to diagnose you and treat you appropriately.
Urgent Care Centers’ Diagnosis Of Covid-19
Like all medical facilities across the United States, the only fool-proof way to know if someone has Covid- 19 is to test the patient. As the weeks have gone by, and the US has increased the production of testing kits for the coronavirus, more urgent care centers have begin to have adequate access to testing kits. Urgent care centers need to have access to testing kits the same way emergency rooms do because a large amount of people who come into an urgent care center believing that they have a cold or the flu could unknowingly have the coronavirus.
The main symptoms of the new coronavirus are:
- And difficulty breathing (in severe cases)
It is also important for urgent care centers to have access to testing because many patients who have the coronavirus may not show any symptoms at all. New studies have shown that up to 40% of people who catch the coronavirus will not show symptoms. If a patient has come into contact with someone who knows has the virus, being able to have access to a test is extremely important so that patient can know early if they are infected (if you have come into contact with a someone who has Covid-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate for 14 days at least.)
As urgent care clinics have been able to provide another avenue for patients to receive testing results, they have been able to ease up some of the pressure on emergency rooms. Currently, many emergency rooms are overwhelmed with the number of coronavirus patients coming in to receive treatment or testing for the virus. Ideally, emergency rooms would see only the patients who have the most severe symptoms and then a patient could be admitted immediately if the patient was having too much difficulty breathing. If patients who have more mild symptoms of the coronavirus go to urgent care clinics instead, then emergency rooms will be able to direct more of their attention to the most dire cases.
Safety In Urgent Care Clinics
Urgent care clinics are currently following all of the CDC’s recommendations on keeping their doctors, nurses, and patients safe from obtaining the coronavirus.
These recommendations include:
- Wearing a mask at all times
- Wearing gloves
- Wearing gowns
Some urgent care clinics will also have staff members wearing goggles if they are available.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus is a pathogen that can be spread very easily through the air when an infected person coughs or exhales. This is why all medical staff will be wearing protective gear when they are diagnosing you- for their safety and for yours.
While urgent care clinics have always been clean facilities to receive your medical treatments at, the vast majority of urgent care clinics have now increased their cleaning regimes due to the virus. While the virus can last for up to three days on a metal surface, it is broken down very easily with alcohol based cleaning supplies. Clinics have increased the amount that they are wiping down tables as well as all of the doorknobs or other metal surfaces in the clinic.
How To Avoid Catching Covid-19
Currently, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the United States. At the moment, the CDC is recommending that you only leave your home if you need to go to the store of if you have another essential errand to run.
While you are out of your home you should wash your hands frequently. If you have hand sanitizer, take it to the store with you, or if you have gloves consider wearing them. Try to use a contactless credit card when you are at the register instead of exchanging cash. As much as possible, try to remain 6 feet away from other people and avoid touching your face.
Most importantly, remain calm. Depending on where you live, your chances of cathing the coronavirus are relatively low as are your chances of being hospitalized.
For more information about how urgent care clinics are handling the coronavirus outbreak, please visit https://perfecthealth247.com/urgent-care/