URPG sees exponential increase in COVID-19 testing

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — United Regional Physician Group officials said in the last four weeks, positive Covid-19 test results have increased from 11 to 54%.

A part of the increase has to do with the increased number of people getting tested since the spike of cases in recent weeks.

“So at United Regional Physician Group, we have definitely seen a surge in Covid testing,” URPG Quality Manager Cindy Hoff said.

In just three days, Hoff said they completed about 1,200 Covid-19 tests.

“This past week, we have seen about 30% of the volume that we saw in September, which is our highest amount of Covid tests that we’ve done since Covid started,” Hoff said.

This can be seen as hundreds of cars line up at the building on Barnett Road throughout the day, sometimes stretching into the road and blocking traffic.

Hoff said, though, since the start of the pandemic, they have learned to prepare as surges come.

“We can have a week where we’re doing, on average, a hundred per day, and on Wednesday, we saw 370 patients – so definitely more than we had ever seen in one day since Covid began,” Hoff said.

Hoff said the surge in testing explains the delay in test results.

“When we’re seeing lower numbers, maybe a hundred a day, we can get those tests turned around pretty quickly within a few hours,” Hoff said. “We are telling patients now that it is 24 to 48 hours before you can expect a test result.”

Hoff said they are seeing a lot of people wanting to get tested because of a recent exposure. However, she said that per CDC guidelines, patients should wait up to five days to get tested. She said testing too early may cause a false negative.

The long lines for testing means all hands on deck for health workers, though.

“[We’re] pulling managers from their roles to go out and help, and we have added some temporary staff to help us in the tent, and we have also reached out to Midwestern nursing to see if they can lend us a hand with some of their nursing students,” Hoff said.

Despite these high numbers, officials said they are not experiencing a shortage in test kits, as in some areas.

Hoff said there is no telling when these numbers will go down, since there is generally a spike after the holidays.

One way they hope they can reduce these lines and continue to be efficient is by asking those who think they need to get tested to first reach out to their primary care doctors to see what recommendations they give.

Hoff said CarePlus is no longer accepting walk-in patients – appointments only.

You can find a link to testing sites in Wichita Falls here.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Report It

Latest News

More Local News