Metro Detroit urgent cares seeing more patients as COVID-19 surges again in Michigan

Posted at 5:28 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 06:16:10-05

(WXYZ) — Michigan is now a national standout for our current surge in COVID-19 cases.

In just the last two days, the state is reporting more than 14,000 new cases, an average of nearly 7,300 per day. The death toll in the state is now more than 23,000.

As the cases surge, area urgent cares are getting crowded and hospitals are filling up.

One urgent care doctor said he's seeing an uptick in school-aged kids right now, as young as 4 years old all the way to high school, and with Thanksgiving just a week away, he's expecting another uptick in cases.

"I would say about to 2-3 weeks ago our numbers of positive cases we were seeing maybe two, every three days. Right now we are seeing 5-6 a day," Dr. Ron Kattoo, the medical director at Express Med Urgent Care, said.

Based on what Kattoo is seeing lately, the record-setting surge in COVID-19 cases is no surprise.

The 7-day average is 7,353 cases, the highest we've seen in Michigan since the pandemic started, even topping the previous high we set a year go.

Now, not just hospitals are feeling the strain. Urgent cares are starting to see more and more patients.

One mother we caught up with stopped by to get her kids tested.

"I want to make sure that they are good. In the schools, the kids are coming in with positive tests," Lakystal Perkins said.

Wait times are increasing. Kattoo said he tries to keep his under 30 minutes, but he also said it's hard with the number of people coming in with COVID-19 symptoms.

"Now every little symptom people are panicked," he said.

He suggests gathering with vaccinated people or keeping your mask on during Thanksgiving celebrations.

Health experts across the state warn that if you feel sick or think you may have been exposed, don't ignore the signs.

"A lot of patients don't realize how sick they are," he said. "Oxygen levels are low, and we end up sending them to the ER."

Unlike this time last year, the vaccine is out there and readily available. It's a tool we didn't have last Thanksgiving.

The state's first-dose tracker shows that just more than 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and up have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.