URMC temporarily closes two urgent care facilities


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the area knows all too well, hospitals across the region are feeling much of the impact of the surge in COVID cases across the region. Both with patients coming in the door, and with their own staff out sick due to catching the virus. Also getting slammed, are urgent care centers.

URMC this week announcing they are closing some of those care centers down. Urgent Care centers under the umbrella of URMC, are seeing foot traffic now three times higher than usual.

In response, URMC has temporarily closed two urgent care centers — they say — to ‘maximize overall access’ to care in the community, calling it strategic. This, due to staffing issues at two sites in particular: Spencerport and Perinton. 

“We are actively working to dissuade people from coming to our Emergency Departments or our Urgent Care for testing. That’s so we can take care of people that are sick,” says Dr. Michael Kamali, Chair of Emergency Medicine at URMC.

In short, they want to make sure those in need get seen, and that urgent care staff is fully staffed to meet demands. 

“With the high volumes that people have been reading about in our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care sites, some people are putting off their health care,” he says. 

COVID testing says Kamali, causing some clogging in the system. 

“In our urgent care centers we are seeing quite a wide variety that is driving the uptick in volumes. Some of that is people who have some mild symptoms or an exposure and they would like to have a COVID test,” he says.

When it comes to routine testing, one thing URMC is asking all to do — is to try to not go to an urgent care center. Kamali says there are alternatives: rapid testing at home and PCR tests.

“I understand people want to test, they want to know what’s going on, what they have…and there are different thought processes on all of these.”

Dr. Kamali also says to try some of the efforts the state and county put out for testing, rather than going to the ER or an urgent care. 

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