Augusta Health: Increase in need for testing, but plenty of tests available

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Augusta Health Urgent Care says it has seen a dramatic increase in requests for COVID tests over the past several weeks, and as a result, a dramatic increase in positive cases.

Urgent Care’s Medical Director tells us, though, over the past seven to 10 days, the need for tests has declined.

“Approximately two to three weeks ago, we were seeing probably 250 to 300 folks that were requiring to get testing here at Urgent Care, our numbers are now down to about 150 to 175,” Dr. Daniel Parks said.

Augusta Health’s Urgent Care Centers are administering PCR tests as they give a more reliable result compared to the rapid testing.

“Because of our increase in volumes, we are seeing a slight extension of the amount of time it takes to get those results back,” Dr. Parks said. “All of our results are done here at our lab in Augusta Health. We’re seeing a turnaround time of about two days, sometimes a little bit quicker.”

He adds that despite high volumes of tests being administered, Augusta Health has plenty of tests to go around. He’s just asking folks to be patient.

“Our volumes are very high. Our staff is stretched to its limits so we ask people to be patient when they present. We do have extended wait times, unfortunately, because of the high volumes that are presenting,” Dr. Parks said.

If you do know you will need a test, Parks says it’s best to schedule it with your primary care provider, and it will take about 48 hours to get your result.

But how you are tested may differ, depending on whether you are symptomatic.

“We are actually bringing them into the facility and doing a full respiratory assessment, checking their vital signs, checking their oxygenation, getting chest x-rays if we need,” Dr. Parks explained.

For those looking to get tested for travel, an event or if they may have been exposed to the virus, you can use Urgent Care’s drive thru testing.

Dr. Parks is advising those folks who have not yet been vaccinated to look into getting the shot.

“Greater than 95 percent of patients that are admitted to the hospital with COVID these days are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated,” Dr. Parks said. “They do work. They do not keep you from getting sick, but they definitely will keep you from getting hospitalized, so vaccinations are key with this.”

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