Demand for COVID-19 testing on the rise in C.O. as cases surge, new mandates added
No more walk-ins at Family Choice urgent care - you need to make appointment
(Update: adding video, comments from Family Choice Urgent Care president)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With COVID-19 cases expected to keep rising for at least for the next few weeks, health care facilities are seeing a surge in the demand for COVID-19 tests, and that has some scrambling.
New mandates for proof of vaccination or negative test results have also added to the demand, which had one Bend urgent-care clinic switch to appointments only.
"We were walk-in for the entire year, and we're just unable to meet the demand at this point," said Dr. Terri Mucha, president of Family Choice Urgent Care in Bend, said Tuesday.
Mucha said the need for COVID-19 testing at the clinic was slowing down up until July, but demand jumped in the past month. That prompted the move to appointments only. Mucha said her small staff is coping with burnout from the Delta COVID-19 variant.
"There's a lot of us that are really bummed that we are having to go through this again," Mucha said. We're tired. It's been a very tiring year. Providing this kind of community service and keeping the public healthy has been exhausting."
St. Charles Health System has also felt the effects of the increased demand for COVID-19 testing.
A new drive-thru testing clinic recently was set up near St. Charles Bend to help relieve the strain on the Emergency Department.
At least 200 people are seeking tests daily, according to spokeswoman Lisa Goodman.
Mucha said she understands the majority of people who get tested are experiencing symptoms or are following a mandate, but feels some people can avoid a trip to urgent care, saving resources.
"If you haven't had close contact with somebody that is positive, and if you don't have any symptoms, we strongly recommend that you do not need testing at this time," Dr. Mucha said.