Urgent cares filling up in metro Atlanta with COVID-19 patients

ATLANTA — Urgent cares across metro Atlanta are working hard to treat COVID-19 patients and keep them out of the hospital, but a surge in cases is leading to very crowded facilities and long waits.

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Health Choice, affiliated with Northside Hospital, is hiring more staff to handle more patients. The increase in patients does mean longer wait times but the centers are being as safe as possible by using online registration.

Beth Furbush, Director of Operations at Health Choice, says there’s also an uptick in patients coming in just to get vaccinated and its driven by news of the quick spreading Delta variant.

Julia Smith at Health Choice Urgent Care told Channel 2′s Wendy Corona that she’s slammed on her 12 hour shifts. The Sugar Hill location averaged about 30 patients a day but now that number is double. She’s also spending a lot of time counseling and separating fact from fiction about the vaccine.

“It’s just a lot of questions that patients have because everything is so everywhere, all over the place,” Smith said.

The staff says its very reminiscent of the start of the pandemic.

“With these steadily increasing numbers, we’re telling our patients to please get vaccinated. Please wear your mask. Please wash your hands. Those things so that we can try to get these numbers back down,” Smith said.

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