LUBBOCK, Texas — As COVID-19 cases surge across the nation, hospitals are fighting to take care of as many patients as they can. Not unlike other hospitals, urgent care centers and family practices are treating a lot more patients.
Unfortunately, when people wait too long to set an appointment, it becomes more limited on what clinics can do to help. Oftentimes, it results in transporting patients to the emergency room.
Covenant Medical Center’s Director of Care Dr. Kerry Hendershot said urgent cares are seeing more patients who have waited until the last minute to get help.
“Our ultimate goal is to keep you out of the hospital,” Hendershot said.
According to health experts, people who have a fever, chills, shortness of breath, or can’t breathe, loss of taste or smell for more than three days should see a doctor.
Dr. Hendershot said people should consider going to urgent care soon after symptoms occur and think about visiting the emergency room as a last resort.
“We can keep you out of the hospitals because the hospitals are in a desperate situation right now,” Hendershot said.
Covenant Medical CEO Chris Lancaster said it’s important for people to get help when they need it.
“People had this fear about coming into the ER. What we see now is folks delaying coming in. It’s a hard balance to seek the care when you need it. Not just folks with COVID.”