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Be prepared for longer wait times as Urgent Cares, ERs see an influx in patients

At Executive Urgent Care in Indian Wells, a packed lobby led people to wait outside.

“Really busy, really hectic a lot going on," said Jennifer Melchor, a medical assistant at Executive Urgent Care.

“It's been super busy. It's almost as busy as an emergency room would be or just the smaller setting kind of just making up for it, doing what we can,” added April Zuniga, who also worked as a medical assistant at the clinic.

Zuniga and Melchor said for the last two weeks, the urgent care has been consistently busy throughout the day. They say the earlier, the better.

“The average lead time at the moment has been between three and a half hours to four hours.// The best time to come is maybe an hour before opening. I wouldn't ask to camp out but it's the best time to be seen as soon as you walk in,” Zuniga said.

They said that this time of year is known for its winter viruses that cause the influx of patients.

“Flu, Covid, RSV,” Melchor said.

“We’re seeing hand foot and mouth. Pneumonia pneumonia. We're seeing bronchitis,” Zuniga added.

Francis, a mother of two, said she brought her daughter to the urgent care after she felt symptoms of RSV.

“I had to bring in my daughter because she's been kind of feeling under the weather for the past week. Just a cough, sore throat, slight fever stuffy nose, so I think I was best just to bring her in," Francis said.

Francis said she prefers a private urgent care center to big hospitals, due to its shorter wait times and availability.

“They've been pretty good here. I've never had issues here and it's been almost an hour and a half about two hours. Wait time they said three hours so hopefully soon,” Francis said.

As with every flu season, doctors say to avoid close contact when possible with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick and wash your hands thoroughly whenever possible. 

The California Department of Public Health shared new guidance for parents regarding what to watch out for and how to care for children

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Article Topic Follows: Health
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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.

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