Inova temporarily closes four of eight urgent cares due to patient volume and limited staffing
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - Hours long wait times or barely any appointments available. That’s the result of high patient volumes, exhausted medical staff and nurse shortages across the country. And many urgent cares within the DMV are not immune to that.
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Some locations have even closed temporarily. That includes four of eight Inova Urgent Care facilities in Northern Virginia that have temporarily closed in Reston, Tyson’s, Arlington and Purcelville. This story was first reported by FFXnow.com and ARLnow.com.
Stephen Motew, Chief Clinical Enterprise at Inova Health System said Friday, the closures are partly due to shifting of staff from one urgent care to another to help with patient volume and provide relief to that location’s medical staff.
Motew said this has been a challenge for the last several months.
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He said while it’s a combination of several factors, surprisingly COVID-19 infections is a smaller component of what they are seeing.
"What we are seeing is routine and sometimes even sicker patients in larger volume than we’ve experienced in a long time likely due to a buildup of a delay in care over the past year," Motew explained.
"Also the return to more normal life, so as our children and families are out more and are experiencing school and sports and social gatherings, they are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses."
When asked if Inova expects more of its urgent cares to temporarily close Motew said the intention is not to temporarily close any more urgent cares, but that depends on patient volume and staff availability.
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Motew also did not provide a timeline on when the urgent cares that are currently closed, will open again.
Inova spokesperson Tracy Connell said current wait times at their urgent cares 45 to 60 minutes. She said pre-pandemic wait times were typically around 30 minutes. During the last year, wait times were 0 to 15 minutes at the most.