Augusta Health’s Waynesboro urgent care location will operate as a respiratory assessment center in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, health officials announced Thursday.
The urgent care, located at 201 Lew Dewitt Boulevard, will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The COVID-19 assessment center will see, treat and evaluate patients who are experiencing signs and symptoms associated with coronavirus including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
All other needs that are not respiratory related will be directed to other urgent care locations in Staunton, Weyers Cave and Stuarts Draft.
“From the Waynesboro urgent care location we will be diverting other care that is not respiratory related, and we will be consolidating our care for respiratory assessment and concerns about possible COVID-19 to the Waynesboro urgent care,” Augusta Health doctor and incident commander Scott Just said.
However, the Waynesboro urgent care will not be a testing center at this time because of a lack of testing kits. When more tests are available, Just said, the Waynesboro urgent care location may become an assessment and a testing center.
“This is a respiratory assessment center for patients that are concerned about their symptoms,” he said. “We want to have a place for them to come so we can examine them, evaluate, treat and further educate them on how to care for themselves and their family, if necessary.”
As of mid-afternoon Thursday, Augusta Health said they had seen 50 patients at the Waynesboro COVID-19 assessment center.
In addition to operating a respiratory assessment center, Augusta Health announced a COVID-19 care call center. The call center will operate seven days a week from 8:40 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be staffed by clinician nurses.
By mid-afternoon Thursday, Augusta Health said the call center was “experiencing steady volume” and fielded more than 60 calls. Augusta Health’s COVID-19 care call center phone number is (540) 332-5122.
“This is a great resource for our community. Folks in the community can call in and seek advice and direction, especially around their concerns with an upper respiratory infection, as to whether to seek care or not and the appropriate place to seek care,” Augusta Health Chief Medical Officer William Doherty said.
As of Thursday, the CDC reported that the U.S. had 7,038 cases and 97 deaths associated with COVID-19. In Virginia specifically, the Virginia Department of Health reports that more than 1,900 have been tested, with 94 confirmed cases and two deaths.
While there are no confirmed cases in Augusta County or the cities of Waynesboro and Staunton, Doherty says Augusta Health anticipates future cases in the community.
“We fully anticipate that we will have COVID-19 positive patients in our community here,” Doherty said. “We’re here to take care of you ... we are prepared to take care of patients in our community.”