INDIANAPOLIS — As hospitals, including IU Health, urge people to avoid the ER for COVID-19 testing, urgent cares are feeling the impact.
Several urgent cares WRTV spoke with Friday say they are extremely busy. Some are seeing more than 100 patients a day.
"It has increased tremendously within this last week," said Taquita Taylor.
Taylor is a family nurse practitioner at Children Express Care Clinic. She says they've seen around 150 patients this week that have been mostly COVID related.
"Most of the patients we have experienced here, they have been symptomatic," said Taylor.
She says 60 of those patients were treated in one day - a record for her clinic.
"Which was definitely a lot for us, but I just tell people to be patient with us; we will try to get you in as soon as possible," said Taylor.
The demand for care has been so great, Taylor moved into a larger clinic this week and began offering testing to entire families, not just the kids.
"It's definitely playing a role in people coming to urgent cares. These ER's are very overwhelmed. People are getting the anxiety in regards to COVID and nervous and they just want to be tested," she said.
Children Express isn't the only clinic seeing an increase in patients.
Indiana Immediate Care says it treated more than 100 patients Friday and Urgent Care Indy says 150 people were swabbed for COVID-19 at their clinic.
"We are here, we are safe. We are willing to see people for any reason and happy to take care of them," said Dr. Steven J. Mahhon, a Board Certified ER Physican with IU Urgent Care.
Dr. Mahhon says clinics are doing all they can to help take the load off hospitals.
"It's our hope that we try offset as much from the ER as we can and allow the more significant sicker patients to be able to be seen and taken care of there while we can take care of everybody else," said Dr. Mahhon.
Dr. Mahhon says clinics are seeing several flu cases, along with coughs, colds and other patients.
Clinics encourage patients but are asking people to be patient saying wait times may be longer but not as long as the wait at an ER.