Wake County Reminds Residents of Alternatives to Emergency Care for Mild, Non-Serious Illnesses

With a surge in cases of the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 as we head into an eventful-holiday weekend, Wake County encourages those with mild symptoms, or other non-serious illnesses, to avoid unnecessary utilization of emergency care services if possible, and to get vaccinated or boosted if they have not already done so.

The local healthcare system is experiencing a surge of patients seeking emergency care. This includes patients who may be seeking emergency care even though they may not be experiencing a life-threatening emergency.

“If you are feeling sick and are concerned about a health issue, and your symptoms are mild and don’t require emergency care, consider other options to access healthcare services like urgent care clinics, telehealth or contacting your primary care provider,” said Wake County’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. José G Cabañas.

Residents should still seek emergency care for any concerns for serious illness or injury.

Examples of conditions that may be able to be treated at an urgent care clinic, primary care provider office, telehealth or at home:

  • Fevers, cough, congestion, or mild headaches
  • Sprains, pulled muscles or other minor injuries
  • Abscesses or small lacerations
  • Mild urinary tract infections
  • Rashes or skin conditions
  • Flu, COVID-19, or strep throat testing
  • Earaches or eye infections
  • Mild cases of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Animal or insects bite if not severe

It’s important to monitor your symptoms if treating at-home and seek medical care if your condition worsens.

If you think you have the flu or COVID-19, get tested at home or at a non-emergency setting if your symptoms are mild. Wake County has partnered with Mako Medical to provide no-cost, drive-thru testing for both the flu and COVID-19 viruses. There are three sites scheduled for next week in Cary and Raleigh. Locations, dates and hours can be found at wake.gov/testing.

Press Release