Alocal primary care doctor said Thursday that the local swabbing station, respiratory tent and some primary care units are swamped right now following a spike in coronavirus cases.
“And while (Ascension Via Christi CEO Bob Copple) and the hospital may not be pegged out on capacity in terms of beds or ventilators or ICU care, I can just tell you from the primary care standpoint, we are already being pegged out at capacity, and this is just what I call the tip of the iceberg in terms of what could happen through the fall and the winter,” Ryan Knopp, who is part of the MHK Clinical Task Force, a committee of medical professionals who meet regularly to talk about the response to the pandemic.
Knopp, a partner at Stone Creek Family Physicians and at the K-Stat Urgent Care Center, discussed the situation during the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force meeting Thursday afternoon. He’s also a member of that task force which is an inter-agency group created in response to the pandemic.
“Our K-Stat Urgent Care clinic has literally been overwhelmed with need for swabs,” he said.
Knopp said he expects the numbers to continue to rise locally. He said the supplies at the respiratory tent, in terms of capacity and resources, have “absolutely been exceeded.” He said he helped with swabbing Wednesday and it was busy with cars coming one after another.
However, Vivienne Uccello, public information officer, said Friday the county has had success in reordering testing supplies.
The respiratory tent and swabbing station is managed by the Konza Prairie Community Health Clinic staff along with medical volunteers across the community. It is in the Riley County Health Department parking lot.
Knopp alluded to the rise in cases over the last few weeks in Riley County. He said he and other doctors saw this spike prior to the positive numbers coming in.
“We in primary care see that before anybody because we’re fielding the phone calls of sick patients, exposures, far before the positive numbers and tests come in,” Knopp said. “So we sort of saw this coming a week or two ahead of time.”
Officials said if a person wants to get tested, they must have a referral from a doctor. People are usually allowed to get tested if they have at least two coronavirus symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus.
If people do not have a primary care doctor, people are encouraged to call Konza, officials said.
Uccello said there is no charge to patients for testing at the swabbing station.
Officials also said Friday morning the Riley County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) planned to address this situation later Friday.