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With COVID-19 making its way through the community, UNC Children’s Raleigh Urgent Care Center, which opened in January 2020, has been able to respond immediately to patients’ needs.

“We stayed open because a lot of pediatrician offices were closed,” Cheryl Jackson, MD, Chief, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UNC explained. “When kids had fevers and other symptoms of being sick there was really nowhere else for them to go except for the emergency department. And for obvious reasons many parents, haven’t wanted to go to the emergency department unless they’ve needed to.”

Additional precautions such as dividing waiting areas for patients experiencing different types of injuries and ailments is just one of the ways UNC Children’s Raleigh Urgent Care has kept patients safe during the pandemic.

“You put a lot of precautions in place in terms of physical distancing for both staff and the patients,” Jackson stated. “We divided the urgent care into areas for kids with infections versus areas for kids with injuries.”

In addition to the distancing precautions being installed in the office, remote “video visits” are also being offered for families who might not think an in-person trip is needed.

“Video visits are key,” Jackson said. “I think they’re going to probably stay regardless of COVID because there’s a lot that can be done with the video visits.”

It’s especially important to have this safe place for kids because Jackson has seen an increase in at-home injuries coming through the front doors the Urgent Care center over the past several months.

“Kids are running around the house, bumping into walls, jumping off of furniture, getting cuts and sprains and broken bones,” Jackson said.

Being able to determine the urgency of an injury which might warrant an in-person visit has been streamlined with the addition of remote visits.

“We are able to perform an assessment,” Jackson said. “We’re able to tell them to go to the ED or come to the urgent care over video. That’s really a good function that we’re able to provide.”

Overall, Jackson is pleased with the way her staff has responded every step of the way, noting that they have been receiving enthusiastic reviews by the patients who have been seen at UNC Children’s Raleigh Urgent Care.

UNC Children’s Raleigh Urgent Care Center is located at: 2801 Blue Ridge Road., Raleigh, N.C., 27607. Call 984-215-6435 for more information.

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