Urgent cares see influx of COVID-19 patients, adding to wait times

Posted at 11:23 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 23:23:34-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The number people coming in and out of Express Med Urgent Care in Southfield on 12 Mile Road continues to rise.

Dr. Ron Kattoo, the medical director at the urgent care, says Michigan leading the country in COVID-19 cases — according to the CDC — doesn’t surprise him because he’s seeing more cases daily.

“I would say about two to three weeks ago, our numbers of positive cases, we were seeing maybe two every three days. Right now, we are seeing five to six a day,” Kattoo said.

7 Action News asked Kattoo if there is a specific reason why the state has the highest numbers nationally.

“People have traveled here. People have traveled out and come back with it. I don’t think there is a direct answer,” Kattoo said.

One thing that does stand out is the ages of patients coming in.

“A lot of school-age kids. I’ve seen as young as 4 to high school,” Kattoo said.

Just a couple miles away at another urgent care, one mother came 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 test,” Krystal Perkins said.

At the moment, urgent cares in the metro Detroit area are experiencing longer wait times.

“Last time I came and I had tested positive, it was like a three to four hour wait,” Perkins said.

At Beaumont Health Urgent Cares, doctors say wait times vary, but at some of the busier locations, wait times can exceed one hour or more.

At Express Med, Kattoo says he tries to keep the wait under 30 minute, but that is sometimes hard with the number of people coming in with COVID-19 symptoms.

“Now every little symptom, people are panicked. They come in here crying thinking they are going to die,” Kattoo said.

He says he expects an uptick in testing and cases with Thanksgiving around the corner.

“After there is a holiday and a bunch of get togethers, a week later or 10 days later, there is definitely a spike. We see a lot more patients come in here. Make sure you are gathering with people who are vaccinated or be masked,” he adds.

If you’re not feeling well, he says don’t ignore the signs.

“A lot of patients don’t realize how sick they are, and we end up sending them to the ER,” Kattoo said.

Kattoo also says if you think you have COVID-19, go get a test. He says they have plenty of tests, whether it’s at Express Med, other urgent cares or pharmacies across our area.

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