Do not present as much as emergency rooms or pressing take care of a COVID-19 take a look at, say docs – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Price
Doctors and nurses say while they are busy treating sick COVID-19 patients, they are also an influx of those just looking for a COVID-19 test.
“We are also seeing a record number of patients who present to our emergency clinics and want quick COVID tests for their children,” said Dr. Kara Starnes, Urgent Care Services medical director for Cook Children’s in Fort Worth.
On Wednesday, Cook Children’s doctors and administrators said how they feel about the burden of increased patient demand and staff shortages. She said an increase in requests for tests made the problem worse.
“Rushing so fast to be seen immediately leads to increased volume in the clinics,” Starnes said.
Methodist Hospital System posted a similar message on social media reminding people that their emergency room is not a COVID-19 testing site.
The increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as the need for a negative test to either travel, return to school, or work, are also driving the demand for more tests. Compared to last year, there aren’t any large testing centers where people are looking for a way to get a test quickly.
“We understand that schools have requirements and people need to get their children back to school and work, but we also want you to know that if your child has been exposed or has symptoms, you don’t need to panic,” Starnes said .
She said that in most cases when a family member has COVID-19 and other family members are uncomfortable, it can be assumed that everyone in the house is suffering from it.
Starnes said in most cases it is safe for parents and child carers to manage a child’s symptoms at home. The same goes for adults, said health professionals.
The reason emergency rooms and ambulance doctors ask people not to just show up for COVID-19 tests is because it increases patient stress and slows response time for those who are very sick.
Tarrant County Public Health said it has noticed an increased number of people wanting a test and plans to add more options.
Some school districts, such as the Dallas ISD, offer their students, teachers, and staff their own rapid COVID-19 tests on campus.
“It’s just one more layer, a strategy to contain the spread of the virus,” said Jennifer Finley, director of health for the school district.
She said they too had seen increased demand for COVID-19 tests.
Doctors suggest that people looking for a test either see their GP, pharmacy, use a drive-through testing site, or purchase a home test kit.
The following are links to the websites for COVID-19 testing: