Clinic in SW Houston dealing with staff shortages and influx of people positive with COVID-19

HOUSTON – Americans across the country and here in Southeast Texas are facing long lines for COVID tests as cases continue to climb.

Now, some clinics are being overwhelmed by the number of patients signing up for tests at their offices.

Healthcare officials from the Hillcroft Physicians Clinic in southwest Houston say they’ve been screening and treating between 70 to 80 people a day who’ve tested positive for the virus.

“This week has been really bad. It just suddenly hit a lot of our people,” Clinic Medical Director at Hillcroft Physicians Dr. Forough Farizani said.

Farizani primarily serves the refugee and immigrant population in Houston at the clinic.

“This morning, it actually got worse again,” she said. “Almost everybody that we screened for COVID has been positive.”

Farizani says the clinic is overwhelmed and they’re also dealing with staffing issues. One doctor, four nurses and a receptionist caught the virus this week.

Farizani and about 20 other staff members said they’re doubling down and working long shifts.

“We are tired. We’ve been tired but we are very pleased that we are helping people in our community and being a part of it,” she said.

Farizani usually focuses on physical exams, routine care, and vaccinations, but now she has modified the facility into an urgent care.

“This is the first time, actually, we are doing something like this. It’s a unique time, I have to say,” she said.

She expects the surge to get worse into the new year, making it even tougher for some of her patients who cannot afford to quarantine and take time off for work.

“For the most part, it could be that one person is providing for the house and the only one that works and has to feed the family,” she said.

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