WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, more people have been heading to emergency rooms with respiratory issues. Ascension Medical Group said its Immediate Care clinic, 3311 E. Murdock, treats around 140 patients a day but receives calls from about 240. To handle the surge, it is opening a temporary respiratory testing site.

“Many of these calls are coming from patients with viral respiratory symptoms that need to be assessed,” Mollie Botts, who directs operations at the clinic, said.

Immediate Care only sees patients by appointment as a way to manage the number of people and time spent in the waiting room. If you think you need to go to the clinic, call first to schedule an appointment. The number is 316-274-8107. You will be directed to press 1 for COVID-19/respiratory care.

The person who answers the line will assess your symptoms. If the person decides you need an office visit, you will get an appointment for the clinic at 3311 E. Murdock. However, if the person decides you need a swab specimen collected and sent to the lab for testing, you will be scheduled to go to an off-site testing site.

At the testing site, you will be checked in and given patient portal paperwork to complete. After being swabbed, your specimen will be sent to the lab. You will be given quarantine instructions and told to watch for your results to be posted on the patient portal within 48-72 hours.

The off-site testing-only location will be open from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will serve approximately 100 patients a day for as long as needed.

“This will allow our Immediate Care as well as our family medicine clinics to focus on caring for patients with more acute needs and give patients with mild respiratory symptoms an alternative to going to the ER,” said Philip Newlin, chief medical officer for AMG Via Christi. “Helping patients find the care they need in the most appropriate setting is just one step we are taking to help address the overcrowding of our hospitals, ERs and urgent care clinics.”