All Services Available at McLaren Flint as COVID-19 Cases Subside in County, State

Author: Sherry Farney

As cases of COVID-19 rapidly decline throughout Genesee County and the State of Michigan, officials at McLaren Flint announced hospital and outpatient clinic operations are returning to a more normal state, allowing the community improved access to care.

“A surge in COVID-19 cases, combined with an industry-wide worker shortage, led to longer than usual wait times for care for much of the winter,” said Chris Candela, president and CEO, McLaren Flint. “We are now returning to a more normal state of operations and seeing vastly improved wait times and appointment availability for emergency services, imaging, surgical care, and cancer treatments at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint and McLaren Proton Therapy Center.”

The hospital is continuing to focus on recruiting additional team members to its workforce to further improve operations and access, something that is occurring throughout the entire health care industry.

During COVID-19 surges, we saw fewer people seek treatment in emergency rooms and urgent care settings leading many physicians and staff members to worry about the long-term impacts of patients waiting too long to get the care they need.

“McLaren Flint has adapted our operations as COVID-19 cases have risen and fallen over the past year especially,” Candela said. “Between our emergency departments in Flint and Fenton, we are always ready to serve the public’s emergency needs, even during surges.”

Candela also noted the hospital’s surgical services operations are also ready for patients who had to delay procedures over the past few months due to COVID-19.

“Patients who had a surgical procedure, diagnostic test, or cancer screening that was canceled or postponed should immediately talk to their physician about getting their care rescheduled,” Candela said. “Delaying care and important screenings can have adverse impacts on a person’s long-term health.”

During the most recent COVID-19 surge, emergency departments throughout the state were pushed to care for above-average daily censuses. The increase in volume led to higher-than-normal wait times for many people. Now, emergency rooms are seeing fewer visits, which is concerning for many providers.

“People are avoiding the emergency department, even for some life-threatening ailments,” said Dr. Binesh Patel, McLaren Flint’s chief medical officer. “By the time they reach the ER their symptoms are more acute, and their illnesses are in advanced stages. It is important to seek emergency care the second you need it.”

If symptoms are serious and you’re even considering a visit to the emergency department, it is vital that you do not wait or avoid the hospital. Immediately call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if you are experiencing an injury or if your ailment is one that requires treatment that is not readily available. It is critical to seek immediate care if you are experiencing conditions such as broken bones, trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting/passing out, deep wound with heavy bleeding, head injuries, seizures, persistent vomiting, or signs of a stroke or heart attack.

“Seconds matter when you are having a heart attack or stroke,” Dr. Patel said. “Any signs or symptoms, even subtle ones, should be evaluated in the emergency room immediately.”

For non-life-threatening ailments, patients can check-in online to the emergency department at McLaren Fenton and wait from home by visiting Patients can view available check-in times, provide basic contact information, and describe their symptoms, all in about five minutes. Minor illnesses and injuries can also be treated in an urgent care setting. This includes conditions such as rashes, minor infections, fever, nausea, minor wounds, or injuries.

For more information about any of our locations including emergency services and urgent care locations, please visit