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Urgent cares report long wait times as COVID cases reach high daily numbers

Clinics see surge in wait times
Clinics see surge in wait times(WSAZ)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Health officials in Kanawha County say new COVID cases hit 110 in one day. They said it is one of the sharpest increases the county has ever seen.

“The cases were continuing to come into the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and they were on pace at that time to probably see a hundred new cases today,” said Monica Mason, director of the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.

Officials say the surge affects everything from hospitals to ambulance transports, but also urgent care clinics.

Ciagio Harris said he went to the Kanawha City MedExpress center because he thought it was the fastest.

“It’s a little MedExpress and apparently its the fastest one” Harris said. “I have been here for about two hours now. Most of these cars have been here before us.”

He said he has never waited this long even in an emergency room.

“To be honest, I don’t really know. Probably, hopefully 30 minutes and max an hour,” Harris said.

A senior at Capital High School, was was waiting for a COVID test. It was recommended because of other COVID cases in his class.

“I am getting one just to see if I have it, just to make sure,” Harris said. “We don’t have to get it. It was just recommended because, apparently, some of my class got it.”

MedExpress released a statement to WSAZ that said more people are coming into their West Virginia locations for COVID testing and other flu-like symptoms.

“It’s a COVID test. You kind of need to know,” Harris said.

As cases rise, people that need services do too, like Harris who said he was just trying to be proactive for his classmates and his family.

Testing and vaccines will be offered at the Kanawha Charleston Health Department from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Next Tuesday, testing and vaccines will be given from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shawnee Park.

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