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Flu and COVID Numbers Are Rising—Should You Get Tested?

As of May 12, 2023, Valley Medical and Wellness no longer offers COVID-19 testing.


Cases of COVID-19, flu, RSV, and the common cold are all on the rise. What does that mean for you and your family—and do you need to get tested?

COVID Cases Are Increasing

Post-Thanksgiving, cases of COVID-19 are once again increasing. According to the CDC, the number of COVID cases was almost 50% higher the first week of December than the week before. This is contributing to a corresponding increase in COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.


A New Tripledemic: COVID, Flu, and RSV

It isn’t just COVID that’s on the rise. Cases of influenza and related respiratory ailment RSV are also shooting upwards. The CDC reports that there have been at least 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 deaths from the flu so far this season. RSV numbers appear to have peaked at the end of November, more than 35% higher than last year’s peak.

The combination of COVID, flu, and RSV coursing through the population has dire consequences for the public and for the healthcare system. Overall hospital bed occupancy is approaching 80%, a figure not seen since the height of the COVID pandemic.

“Hospitals are filling with patients who have severe respiratory illnesses, and many emergency departments are more strained today than any other recent time during the pandemic,” said Christopher S. Kang, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.


What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

All three respiratory illnesses can cause serious complications, especially among the very young, the very old, and the immunocompromised. Illnesses are typically worse for those who have not been vaccinated or boosted.

The best way to protect yourself from any of these respiratory illnesses is to get vaccinated. (There is no vaccine for RSV, unfortunately.) You should also wear a medical-grade mask when out in public and, as much as possible, avoid large gatherings—especially those in crowded, poorly-ventilated rooms. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water and don’t go out if you’re not feeling well.


Do You Need Flu and COVID Testing?

COVID, influenza, and RSV have similar symptoms—coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should get tested to find out which, if any, of these viruses you may have. Only when you know which virus you have can you receive the proper treatment—Paxlovid for COVID and Tamiflu for influenza.

Flu and COVID Testing at Valley Medical

Valley Medical and Wellness offers combination flu and COVID testing via a simple nasal swab. We provide highly accurate RT-PCR testing that delivers results the same day.

Just make an appointment online, drive up at your designated time, and one of our expert staff will come to you—you never have to leave your car. The test is a simple nasal swab and you’ll receive test results by midnight that evening. If you test positive, we can schedule a convenient telemedicine visit to prescribe the Paxlovid COVID or Tamiflu influenza treatment.

Testing is available Monday through Friday at our Burnsville, Minneapolis, and Woodbury locations. We accept all major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.


About Valley Medical and Wellness

Valley Medical and Wellness offers COVID and flu testing and treatment for people of all ages. Test results are typically available the same day, and we accept all major health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Flu and COVID testing is available at our Burnsville, Minneapolis, and Woodbury locations. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve administered tens of thousands of tests to the public and are proud to be a registered testing center with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Valley Medical is also a premier chronic pain management and addiction treatment practice with offices in Bemidji, Burnsville, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Woodbury, Minnesota. We strive to improve the quality of life for those suffering from pain and/or addiction through a comprehensive approach focusing on overall wellness, along with progressive and knowledgeable medical treatments. We work closely with our patients and recognize that dealing with pain and/or addiction can impact every aspect of their lives, including their self-worth, physical health, jobs, relationships with friends and family, finances, and mental health.

For more information about our services and to keep up with the latest events happening at the clinic, check us out on:

Michael Miller Michael Miller Michael Miller is a Business Process Writer at Valley Medical and Wellness. He's an established writer with more than 200 books and thousands of articles published over the past three decades. He writes on a variety of topics, from healthcare to technology to music. He is also a member of the Interstellar Foundation, dedicated to telling the story of humankind via NASA spacecraft traveling beyond the solar system.

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