COVID-19 Update (Aug 26, 2021)

Dear Community Partners,

Urgent care can feel more urgent in a pandemic. The COVID-19 virus – and especially its delta variant – is tricky, with disease symptoms that can vary widely. Plus, this is a novel virus that we are still learning about, but much remains unknown.

Are these symptoms a cold or COVID? Is the fever of a 3-year-old an indicator the pandemic has reached a young host or is it a mild viral infection like Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, common in young children? Or perhaps both?

At Cotton O’Neil Express Care, our team members are sleuthing out the cause and treatment for a multitude of symptoms and injuries they see every day. As the COVID-19 positivity rate has climbed, so has their patient volume.

On Wednesday, they had 238 visits at their four Topeka locations – Urish, Croco, North Fielding and Midtown, with 52% of those respiratory related. Thursday there were 215 visits. Additionally, this team operates the COVID-19 drive-through testing clinic in the Surgery parking garage, which is also seeing increased volumes.

Dr. Korri Phillips, Medical Director of Express Care clinics, says that more than half of the patients they are now treating are considered “persons under investigation (PUI),” which could be COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Hand Foot and Mouth Disease or other viral illnesses.

“All patients with PUI symptoms are encouraged to be COVID-tested, even if we suspect one of the other viral illnesses as we know they can exist together,” she says.

When a patient is PUI, all team members providing care wear personal protective equipment and rooms must be cleaned after each patient. These precautions add extra time into each visit, but it is done to keep everyone safe. The PUI patients are also asked to wait in their cars and not in the clinic waiting rooms where other non-respiratory patients may be located.

“I have nothing but great things to say about our staff and providers,” says Dr. Phillips. “The work ethic they have shown, extra shifts taken, lunches and dinners missed are all beyond compare. All of this while providing care to our patients as best as they are able.” Our organization is very appreciative of the extraordinary work of the Express Care team since the onset of the pandemic.

PUI patients with respiratory ailments can also be seen by appointment at the Respiratory Clinic at Mission Woods, which was recently re-opened at S.W. 29th and Urish Road. It is staffed by primary care and pediatrics team members. In our communities outside of Topeka, patients with COVID-19 symptoms are seen in separate areas within primary care clinics in Oskaloosa, Wamego, Manhattan, Emporia, Osage City and Carbondale. Thank you to those teams for your efforts. To be seen at these clinics, please call your primary care provider’s office or the Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 for further directions.

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 49 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. The percentage of hospital patients who are unvaccinated is 78%. Vaccinated is defined as fully vaccinated individuals for greater than 14 days since the last immunization.
  • From the previous day – COVID-19 inpatient discharges: 9. Deaths: 2.
  • We have 120 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities the past seven days is 18.5% percent. The percent of positive cases who are unvaccinated is 75%.

COVID-19 Vaccines

  • We have administered 87,865 vaccinations, which includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go through your Stormont Vail MyChart
    • Use the online scheduling assistant at
    • Call (785) 270-4786.
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We together,
Dr. K

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