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Urgent Care Clinics Over Capacity

COVID Surge Sends Thousands of Patients Seeking Testing and Care at Primary Health

Boise, August 31, 2021 – Primary Health Medical Group yesterday saw a record number of urgent care patients, surpassing 2,000 visits at its 21 clinics across the Treasure Valley, with the majority of patients seeking evaluation and testing for COVID symptoms.

The surge is placing additional strain on an already exhausted and overworked healthcare force, and jeopardizes the public’s access to walk-in health care, a critical service Treasure Valley residents have come to rely upon over the past nearly 30 years.

“Every aspect of the care we offer is impacted by this fourth wave of COVID and the large numbers of sick patients we’re seeing,” explained David Peterman, M.D., CEO of Primary Health. “We’ll get 80,000 phone calls this month, and wait times during visits are much longer than usual. Starting today, we will be closing our doors an hour early, at 7 PM, to ensure we don’t check in more patients than we can see before the day is over. I’ve been in urgent care and primary care for 30 years, and it’s inconceivable to me we’re at a point where we can’t see all the patients who want to see us. Our healthcare workers are exhausted and working hard to see every patient and answer every call. But at some point, it’s just too much. This is a serious crisis. I am pleading with the public to wear your mask. Get your vaccine. If we can’t see you, you’ll have to go to the hospital, and the hospitals are full.”

It is critical the public take the following steps immediately to alleviate the strain on local healthcare systems:

  • Get vaccinated (ages 12+)
  • Wear a mask in all indoor public places, especially schools, and outdoors when you can’t properly distance, to reduce the odds of being exposed to COVID and requiring a test due to exposure or symptoms
  • Established patients of Primary Health, use your Patient Portal to contact us rather than calling a clinic