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In the past several years, the world has added Covid-19 to their list of seasonal illnesses. This serious and sometimes fatal illness can leave you feeling miserable and in desperate need of medical care. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Covid-19, you may be wondering where to turn for help. While you may be able to schedule an appointment at your family doctor, urgent care centers can also be a great option to receive testing, diagnosis, and treatment for Covid-19 in a hurry. Even if it is after hours or during the weekend, most urgent care centers provide extended hours so you can receive the care you need when you need it most. Even though most urgent care centers handle cases of Covid-19, be sure to call ahead to check on safety protocols, to ensure you do not expose others unnecessarily to the virus. Continue reading below to learn more about what you can expect when you visit an urgent care center for Covid-19 treatment.

What Can I Expect at An Urgent Care Visit If I Am Experiencing Symptoms of Covid-19?

At an urgent care center, most patients are tested and treated for Covid-19 in much the same way that they would be at a hospital or family doctor’s office. When you arrive, the staff will take your personal information including name, address, and insurance details. If you have been instructed to remain in your vehicle, this information may be taken over the phone, when you call to let staff know you have arrived. If this is the case, wait until medical staff come out to get you and follow all safety protocols, they have put in place to protect others.

Once you have been taken to an exam room, a medical professional will take your temperature and ask you questions about your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, they may administer a rapid Covid-19 test or request a swab for further testing. If your test results come back positive for Covid-19, the family physicians will provide you with instructions to follow in order to begin treatment. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, they may suggest medications, fluids, or oxygen therapy. The type of treatment provided depends on how far along your illness is and any underlying health conditions that you may have. Additionally, you will be given information about how to prevent the spread of the virus and when it is safe to return to work or school. Urgent care will also be able to provide you with documentation and excuses for work, school, or daycare, so you can take the necessary time to rest and recuperate.

In most cases, the staff at an urgent care center can diagnose and treat Covid-19 onsite. However, if your symptoms are severe or if you have underlying health conditions, you may be referred to a hospital or specialist for further treatment. It is important to note that even if your test results come back negative, you should still follow the instructions provided by the urgent care center staff and stay home until you feel better to avoid the spread of disease.

When Should I Visit the ER Instead of Urgent Care for Covid-19?

It is important to remember that urgent care is not a replacement for emergency medical care. While urgent care centers are adept at testing, diagnosing, and treating cases of non-life threating Covid-19, for those with the most severe symptoms, emergency services may be necessary. For example, if you are experiencing chest pains, difficulty breathing, low oxygen, unresponsiveness, confusion, or an inability to stay awake, you should go directly to the emergency room or dial 911. Ultimately, the primary reason urgent care facilities exist is to close the gap between traditional family medicine and emergency room care, although it is never a substitute for either, but rather medical care that stands in the gap. As such, urgent care centers can ensure you receive prompt testing and care without burdening the ER with non-emergency cases. However, anytime you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, it is appropriate and recommended to seek care at an emergency room rather than an urgent care center, so you can receive the appropriate care.

What If I Don't Have Covid-19, Can Urgent Care Test for and Treat Other Seasonal Illnesses?

Yes, most urgent care centers are equipped to test, diagnose, and treat a variety of seasonal illnesses. The reality is that Covid-19 can mimic other seasonal conditions like the flu or RSV. These conditions can be just as serious as Covid-19, making proper diagnosis and treatment extremely important. Thankfully with urgent care centers, regardless of whether you are suffering with the flu, strep throat, allergies, a combination of several things, or even something else entirely, the caring staff can help you get back on your feet without the long wait times associated with hospital visits. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the staff may suggest over-the-counter medications or even prescribe antibiotics if necessary. Additionally, urgent care centers are also able to refer you for more specialized care to continue the treatment of your condition whenever it is necessary.

Why Should I Choose an Urgent Care Center the Next Time I'm Experiencing the Symptoms of Covid-19?

Choosing an urgent care center is an excellent option for anyone experiencing the symptoms of Covid-19 or other seasonal illnesses. They are able to provide rapid testing, diagnosis, and treatment all in one convenient setting. In most cases, wait times will be much shorter than those at hospital emergency rooms, allowing you to get the care you need quickly without long delays. Additionally, many urgent care centers offer extended hours so that you can get the care you need when it is most convenient for you, even if you fall ill during the weekend or after your family doctor's office has closed for the day. Ultimately, urgent care centers are arguably the most convenient and efficient way to get rapid testing and treatment for Covid-19 in order to shorten recovery times and prevent the spread of the virus.

In conclusion, finding yourself down and out with Covid-19 or another seasonal illness can be miserable. Fortunately, urgent care centers are equipped to get you the help you need quickly and efficiently, so you can get the proper diagnosis and treatment for a faster recovery. So, the next time you are sick, don't hesitate to visit your local urgent care center!

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