TUCSON (KVOA) - Hospitals have been central in our ongoing fight against COVID-19.
But if you are starting to feel symptoms of the coronavirus and getting to a hospital is not possible, urgent care could be the answer for you.
As we've come to know during this pandemic, the term frontline worker has many meanings - hospital care professionals, policeman or fireman.
And even though they're not hospital workers, the health care professionals at NextCare Urgent Care are right in the thick of this pandemic fight.
"We have turned from focusing on urgent care visits to a lot of COVID," Diane Cameron, NextCare Urgent Care area operations manager said.
About 80 percent of the patients arriving at urgent cares in Southern Arizona have COVID-19 symptoms.
"We're seeing anywhere from about 50-to-100 patients a day," said Sibia Martinez, NextCare Urgent Care area operations manager. "Swabbing patients outside in the parking lot, inside in our clinic."
At NextCare Urgent Care, there is no such thing as an eight-hour day.
"Working 12-hour shifts that sometimes turn into 13 or 14-hour shifts, working short-staffed,"
"Some of us are super tired," Vianey Hernadez, NextCare Urgent Care area operations manager said. "We're just looking for the end of the day and our end of the day, you really don't know what the end of the day is going to be."
Despite that not knowing, what the staff at NextCare Urgent Care wants you to know is that their doors are open for whatever ails you.
"Hassle-free, no appointment needed," Martinez said. "We're here seven days a week."
Hernandez said, "this is the one-stop for a lot of patients because we're able to take care of a lot of the patients who don't know where to go for their care."
Urgent care is often overlooked on the frontlines, but it provides a valuable and much-needed service to our community.
"I consider them heroes, absolutely," Martinez said.
If you know a local COVID-19 hero that deserves to be recognized, we want to know, email firstname.lastname@example.org.