Fort Worth, TX,
14:01 PM

Asking for Some Grace: Cook Children's Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centers Overwhelmed

Patient volumes in Cook Children’s Urgent Care Centers and Emergency Department have reached peak levels.

Over the past two weeks, the patient volumes in Cook Children’s Urgent Care Centers and Emergency Department have reached peak levels. In a single day last week, we saw 627 patients in the ED breaking an all-time record and the UCCs have gone up as high as 873 patients in one day, far surpassing our highest volumes in years past. This has resulted in extremely long wait times. Our Fort Worth UCC has far exceeded its capacity on multiple days... which results in more people turning to the ED. 

As you can imagine, this has led to frustration for those seeking care. Our exhausted staff has heard an abundance of complaints and mean comments that are discouraging when they are working so hard to serve our patients and families. Unfortunately, they are outmatched by the demand. Emergency Room

Here’s what we know:

  1. The vast majority of patients in our UCCs and ED have upper respiratory infections like colds.
  2.  Most COVID-19 tests are coming back negative.
  3.  All of our pediatrician offices offer COVID testing and it’s safe to wait one to two days for COVID testing if you plan to keep your child at home.
  4. If your pediatrician does not have available appointments for your child’s cold symptoms, there are at-home COVID-19 tests available in stores currently.
  5. Minor concerns like sore throat, cough, low-grade fever, diarrhea and other stomach problems are issues your pediatrician can help with.
  6. The ED should only be used for severe symptoms and injuries.
  7. The UCC should be used for moderate symptoms and injuries.

Media partners: If you are interested in telling this story, please contact Public Relations Manager Kim Brown at or at 682-885-1080, 817-266-3728

For information about some common questions we hear, take a look at these articles:

About Cook Children's

Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit