FUQUAY-VARINA N.C. (WNCN) – As the delta variant spreads, more people are turning to emergency clinics for information and COVID-19 testing.
Staff at the American Family Care Clinic in Fuquay-Varina said that the number of patients they’re taking in daily has nearly doubled over the last few weeks. In large part, it’s mainly due to unvaccinated people coming for a COVID-19 test.
“Over the past two weeks, it has been absolutely insane,” physician associate Dana Green said. “Of course, we have our plethora of urgent care, but I do think that this delta variant has something to do with the spike in volume.”
Duke infectious disease specialist Cameron Wolfe said some people with the delta variant reported not losing their sense of taste and smell, a key symptom since the pandemic began.
Symptoms mostly remain the same for the new strain.
“It’s still, in many people, a spectrum of illness that includes a sore throat, cough, potentially loss of smell, loss of taste, headaches, fevers, and muscle aches and pains,” Wolfe said.
Now, the delta variant is making people sicker faster.
“When they’re recently exposed to COVID, they’re testing positive sooner, which aligns with the delta variant,” Green said.
While state health data currently shows a decline in COVID-19 tests, those at the urgent care said they expect those numbers to rise again.
“Our testing has most certainly been going up, so hopefully the data is just a couple weeks behind what’s actually going on in the field,” Green said.
The majority of COVID-19 tests they’re taking are from unvaccinated people.
“There are simple things that we can do as a community so we do not get to a worse state, such as getting vaccinated,” Green said.
American Family Care clinics are not giving out vaccines, but do have multiple types of COVID-19 tests and are open seven days a week.