CHICAGO — A Lincoln Park doctor moved his practice to a parking lot in order to test hundreds of people for COVID-19.
Dr. Rahul Khare and his team of doctors at Innovative Express Care has seen a steady stream of people who are concerned they’ve contracted the virus.
“For me this was something I was made to do so I’m excited to be a part of it,” Khare said.
The CEO of Innovative Express care prepared for the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Chicago area, three weeks ago.
“When I saw what was going on, we decided let’s get the supplies,” he said. “I talked to our lab to see if we can test and help the community.”
He set up shop behind his clinic last week and has tested about 250 people for the virus.
It starts with an over-the-phone screening and if symptoms are concerning, patients are asked to come to the clinic.
“We interview you for about five minutes,” he said. “We take vital signs, I listen to your lungs to make sure you’re clear and then it’s a swab.”
Of the 250 tests, 31 were positive. Five of those people have been hospitalized, with one in the ICU.
Khare said there are likely a lot more positive cases out there than what is perceived.
“What we’re seeing is that a lot of people have COVID-19 but they don’t have to have severe symptoms,” he said. “They could be mild.”
He said while most people have mild symptoms and recover, staying home is the right thing to do.
“It’s not about you per se,” he said. “It’s about the elderly population and chronic diseases. So just hang in there. It is worth it though to save lives.”