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Published on June 15, 2021

Urgent care centers: lesser-known reasons to visit

Urgent Care Ailments

Cape Cod Hospital Emergency Medicine doctor Craig S. Cornwall, MD looks forward to seeing the number of COVID-19 illnesses continue to drop as more people get vaccinated against the virus. But, for now, the five Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care Centers around Cape Cod continue to do COVID testing.

“We’re seeing lots of people with low-grade COVID symptoms,” he said. "As more and more people get vaccinated against the COVID virus, we’re seeing fewer patients transferred to the hospital. Most people are going home to quarantine if they test positive.” 

The most recent wave of COVID-19 patients were younger and healthier people who contracted the disease, Dr. Cornwall said.

“You can definitely see that the vaccine is helping. Now that we have most of our elderly population vaccinated, we’re seeing younger people making up the latest waves of COVID. As a result, our doctors are seeing fewer deaths and hospitalizations, and each new wave goes away faster than the last wave.”

Regarding the process for patients visiting our Urgent Care Centers, Hilary Challies-McDermott, executive director of CCHC Urgent Care says, "All Urgent Care visitors are welcome inside of our centers, though you must be masked at all time. All Urgent Care staff will also be wearing masks for the safety of our teams as well as our patients. Upon entering the center, please utilize our check-in kiosks. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath the kiosk will advise you regarding next steps."

Getting back to normal

Getting back to the beach, the parks and trails should be on your to-do list this summer. Just remember to watch for sharp shells at the beach and ticks in the woods and beach upland areas. Urgent Care doctors tend to treat multiple foot lacerations and various bites during the summer, Dr. Cornwall said.

Other, lesser-known, reasons for stopping by the urgent care center? Poison Ivy, sunburns and ear problems.

“We treat a large number of ear problems, and we’re good at that,” he said. In addition to swimmer’s ear, doctors frequently remove foreign bodies and flush wax from ears.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common things treated at the centers, along with lacerations, abscesses and fractures. Dr. Cornwall said illnesses that require a simple X-ray or just a urine or strep test (for sore throats) can be handled very well in the Urgent Care Centers.

If you have shortness of breath, or abdominal or chest pain, call 911 or proceed to the closest Emergency Center.