Urgent care facility in Roanoke reports surge in COVID-19 cases


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The number of people getting vaccinated in Virginia continues to plateau while the delta variant is not showing any signs of slowing down. On Wednesday morning, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since April.

Healthcare workers are the first people to deal with patients who test positive for COVID-19, and one of the first places they turn to are walk-in urgent care centers.

AFC Urgent Care on Brandon Avenue SW in Roanoke says they are starting to see waiting rooms fill back up with patients, and their wait times are increasing.

In the last two weeks, AFC Roanoke says they have seen a 250 percent increase in positive COVID-19 infections. The majority of the patients that come in are people who are unvaccinated, and the leading contraction is the delta variant.

“We thought we got out of the woods with this, but this delta variant is ugly and its very infectious,” said Physician Assistant Wilton Kennedy, who says he administers multiple COVID-19 tests and treats patients daily.

“We have seen some very sick patients that need immediate transport by EMS to the hospital, or have a family member being taken. They show up, they are so short out of breath, or they are distressed and they are really sick,” said Kennedy.

He works with Maureen Milauskas, a family nurse practitioner, who says she started her job three years ago. She worked through the height of the pandemic and had to learn a lot of her training on the fly.

Milauskas says a big part of her job is to help people fight the fear, and anxiety, once a person is infected, saying her work tactic is to tell patients that they are going to take the process one day at a time.

“Everyone is different. Everyone has their own health issues, and we are going to sit down and we are going to talk about it,” said Milauskas. “You might be immunocompromised, and your situation might be different than the 18-year-old that has COVID.”

Milauskas says urgent care centers are important to local communities because they see COVID-19 patients repeatedly if symptoms do not go away.

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