Urgent and virtual care to help ease strain of COVID-19 patient surge

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 11:16 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As local hospitals continue fighting the COVID patient surge, our local urgent cares are picking up loose pieces.

“We’re trying to do all we can across the state, across the area to try to make sure that we alleviate as much pressure on the hospitals as possible,” Dr. Mark Newton said.

Newton, owner of MedNow Urgent Care, says since the hospitals are fighting through the surge, his urgent care arise seeing changes, too.

“Urgent cares, like ours at MedNow Urgent Care, have begun to see a lot more injuries. For example, fractures that we can X-ray and splint and take care of are able to be done in an urgent care setting without crowding up a hospital or being exposed,” he explained.

Last week, August University Health reported the most COVID-19 patients it’s ever seen. University Hospital reported nearing capacity for non-COVID patients.

Doctors Hospital suspended selective in-patient surgeries.

And instead of going to the doctor, AU is encouraging patients to open up their laptops and let the doctor come to you.

“Our health care providers are reviewing their upcoming appointments to determine if this patient can be seen, virtually,” said Lauren Williams, director of population health and virtual care.

AU Express care website and the app is offering virtual care with access to almost every department.

“But now you have the luxury of senior cardiologists virtually, and they can help determine if they need to get you in or not,” Williams said.

They’re averaging about 100 to 200 patients a day.

“We anticipate that to grow, especially as we are starting to transition patients from in-person to telehealth,” Williams said.

It’s all another piece of the puzzle to help lift the strain off of our local hospitals.

MedNow is also offering rapid COVID-19 testing now by appointment. You can make an appointment by clicking here.

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