SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — As the year winds down, most doctors’ offices and urgent cares are experiencing increasing numbers of sick patients.

According to the CDC, more than 6 million people have visited their doctor or an urgent care because they felt sick this flu season. Those numbers are leaving a strain on healthcare providers as the holidays heat up.

“Influenza has taken a large spike, so probably 100 plus people a day, and 100 that we probably have to turn away unfortunately just because of capacity,” Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Melissa Levering said.

Capacity at UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care in Sunnybrook has been met daily for the past month. However, the urgent care still finds a way to tend to each patient.

“We have two providers and we run 12 hours. You know, 100 plus patients a day is a very safe number to deliver safe care. We always try to find them available spots throughout the week. We do OnMyWay so they can schedule their own also,” Levering said.

The CDC estimates 3,000 people in the US have died because of Influenza since the beginning of October, and case numbers are expected to rise.

“By probably ten, eleven in the morning our entire day is at capacity, so then our front desk girls are really good about finding maybe someone in the office, if they’re a patient of ours already to take in acute or this week,” Levering said.

Siouxland District Health is monitoring the spike in sick people.

“It’s seasonality. It’s the winter months. This is the time where these things really ramp up. Influenza does tend to peak kind of in January, February. So, we’ll see what the season brings as far as influenza goes,” Siouxland District Health Deputy Director Tyler Brock said.

Medical providers say there are some simple actions you can take to help avoid getting sick this time of year.

“Washing your hands. I know that seems redundant and that seems old, but our hands are one of the primary ways we get infected,” Brock said.

“Vaccinate. Probably one of the best things. If you’re sick, stay home, washing your hands. You know, those kind of things,” Levering said.

UnityPoint has launched their telehealth service this week and Levering hopes that can also alleviate the demand for in-person checkups. If you’d like to learn more about UnityPoint’s telehealth service, click here.