With most of the public's medical attention focused on the continuing response to the coronavirus pandemic, a North Texas urgent care is cautioning people not to put off doctor’s visit for other concerns.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care co-founder Dr. Jay Woody said those who are sick or hurt should not delay in seeing a doctor.

“Household accidents are going to happen, and illnesses outside of COVID-19 are still going to happen,” Woody said via email. “We are seeing a frightening trend of patients believing that facilities are overburdened, and they are delaying care, which is very dangerous.”

He said Legacy ER has seen an increase in “household accident type patients” since area counties and cities issued stay-at-home orders because of concerns related to the novel coronavirus.

“We see similar upticks in these types of accidents during the holiday season as well—times of the year when the entire family is at home for an extended period of time,” Woody said. “The typical household accidents we are currently seeing are trips and falls, sprains, cuts, burns and broken bones.”

Legacy ER is seeing a “steady flow” of patients from household accidents at its six locations in Frisco, McKinney, Coppell, Allen and North Richland Hills, Woody said. The clinics are also testing for COVID-19, while “taking all the necessary precautions” to ensure the safety of patients and staff, he said.

“We are using drive-up capabilities and additional entrances and exits to avoid common areas for high-risk patients,” Woody said. “We have instituted protocol to rapidly identify patients exhibiting any cold or flu symptoms, and we require that they wear a protective mask.”

Patients who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their county’s health department before visiting a healthcare facility, Woody said. Residents in Collin County can call 972-548-5596, while Denton County residents can call 940-349-2900. Tarrant County residents should call 817-321-4700.

“This allows the healthcare community to be able to collaborate care for you in an efficient and safe manner,” Woody said.

Legacy ER is also setting up a telehealth option and a free nurse hotline for patients.

“Without having to physically go into a facility, our telehealth option provides low-acuity patients the opportunity to get one-on-one facetime with a certified and licensed medical clinician,” Woody said. “The medical clinician can provide medical advice, diagnose certain health-related conditions, discuss possible issues and also write orders for certain prescriptions.”

The free nurse hotline will allow patients to ask general questions about care and get advice on whether they should visit a medical facility.

“When patients call our nurse hotline, they speak directly with a registered nurse,” Woody said. “We feel this is a good compliment for many of our patients who just want to hear a voice and have some of their questions answered before actually coming in and not having to completely register like you do with telemedicine.”