The entire world is in the grips of a once-in-a-century occurrence – a pandemic of massive proportions. At times, even a seasonal cold, cough or flu, or respiratory infection can raise quite an alarm with your first instinct being to get tested for COVID-19.
A visit to the local hospital or ER can be a scary proposition with the number of COVID positive patients on the rise. Additionally, with a huge number of cases being tested and treated, hospitals and emergency rooms the world over are overwhelmed with providing care for COVID patients. Urgent Care centers across the United States are stepping up to the challenge and are at the frontline in the response to the COVID pandemic. Urgent care clinics are providing services that range from call assistance for concerned patients to discuss the symptoms of COVID, testing for COVID in a safe and sanitized environment, and offering assistance regarding treatment options.
How would you know if the symptoms that you are exhibiting warrant a visit to the nearest urgent care clinic?
The best way to deal with the situation (if you feel that you need guidance on how to proceed) is to follow these steps:
Step 1: Check for symptoms
The most common symptoms that indicate that you may need to consider getting a test done are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Sudden loss of taste or smell
If you are still unsure of whether you need to get yourself tested but would like to confirm with a medical professional, you can visit www.primeuc.com to check for more details on COVID symptoms, call our number (713.340.3111) or request a video consultation to understand your options.
Whether you were recently in close proximity with a COVID positive patient, recently traveled within or outside the U.S., or you just want peace of mind, speaking to a medical professional at the urgent care center can help provide details and important information to help you in your decision to get tested or not.
Step 2: Testing
- You can start by visiting our website to schedule a virtual (telemedicine) visit at primeuc.com.
- Once your visit is scheduled, you will get in a “virtual line” with the Provider until it is your turn to be seen – virtually (appointments can often be made the same day). Your circumstances and the availability of test kits are assessed and a recommendation is made on whether a rapid test or a PCR test should be done.
- If you have been asked to get a rapid or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test done, park your vehicle at the back of the clinic and a medical professional will approach you to take the swab (nasal swabs and nasal pharyngeal swabs are used) test. These test kits are sent to external labs and the results are available in about a week. Rapid test results are available in a few hours.
- In case you or our medical staff suspect exposure to the virus over two weeks before, you may be asked to get an immunoglobulin G (IgG) test done, which will look for antibodies in your blood and tell you if you have already had the virus.
In the case of a rapid test result coming out negative but the medical professional assisting you feels that a PCR test is still recommended to be more certain of the diagnosis, you may be asked to schedule a PCR test.
In case of a positive result on the test, you can schedule a retest 14 days after the initial test date.
Step 3: Treatment
If you test positive in the test prescribed, our medical team at prime Urgent Care will schedule a consultation with you to go over your treatment options. For those exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms, a thorough assessment of the pre-existing medical condition is conducted to understand the further course of treatment. For positive cases requiring more intensive treatment, we will provide a list of options where further treatment can be sought.
To ensure that all safety protocols for staff and patients are followed at our clinic, patients looking to schedule a COVID test always start with a telemedicine visit first. Patients who are symptomatic are not allowed to enter our clinic and are instead tested in the car at the back of our medical center. Those who have received an appointment for a test inside the center are first tested for temperature and asked to wear a mask at all times.
For further information on the conveniences of online check-in and online bill pay, as well as the social distancing norms that are mandated at all the urgent care centers, please visit www.primeuc.com or call us at 713.340.3111.
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to a COVID positive individual or are exhibiting some of the symptoms listed on our website, do call us at or set up a video visit to understand the next steps. We are here to serve you!