Area walk-ins and urgent care facilities are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring patients continue to receive access to care.
Wheeler Clinic President and CEO Sabrina Trocci have seen less new patients coming in for care at the Bristol Family Health & Wellness Center as a result of heightened concerns. However, she wants people to be assured safety procedures have been implemented.
“We are asking patients, prior to their appointment, to call us and determine if they need to be seen in person,” she said. “For the last two weeks, we have been serving many of our patients’ needs via telehealth. It has been absolutely amazing to see that patients are overwhelmingly able to connect via this service, especially when you consider the effect that this situation is having on the anxiety and distress that behavioral health patients experience.”
Those patients that do come to the Wellness Center, which is located at 10 N. Main St., are being screened at the door.
“We screen them at the door to determine if they should be seen and if they are presenting symptoms of the virus,” she said. “If they are presenting symptoms, then we refer them to Bristol Hospital. We have had to refer nine patients for testing in the last week.”
Bristol Health’s Director of Public Relations, Chris Boyle, said walk-in volume at MedHelp Medical Center, located at 539 Farmington Ave., has been less than usual for this time of year. However, today, there was a spike in patients.
MedHelp Medical Center is also encouraging people to call first.
“We are asking patients to call in and schedule a telehealth visit,” he said. “An evaluation to determine the need for testing can be done thoroughly, easily and safely via an audiovisual call.”
Boyle said MedHelp Medical Center has also had some patients referred for testing found to be positive.
“We encourage patients who believe they may be positive to schedule a telehealth visit to be evaluated,” he said. “Testing can be ordered during the telehealth visit if indicated.”
Arthur Yazhemskiy, MD, Associate Medical Director of Hartford HealthCare’s GoHealth Urgent Care, said there has been an increased number of new patients but a decline in overall visits due to people following social distancing and quarantine recommendations.
“We expect the number of visits to return to normal once the COVID-19 pandemic is over,” he said.
Yazhemskiy said there has been at least one patient who was sent to the emergency department for evaluation and treatment that tested positive at the hospital.
“For a lot of people, we are the only option when it comes to medical care outside of the Emergency Department at this time,” he said. “We are proud that we can provide quality medical care and support our local community during these difficult times, as well as helping support our healthcare partners.”
Yazhemskiy said GoHealth will evaluate and treat every patient that walks through their doors. They will take all precautions to ensure that staff can work in a safe environment and provide quality medical care for patients.
Attempts were made to contact AFC Urgent Care in New Britain but staff declined to comment.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.