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Aurora health clinic that serves refugees says they've seen nearly 50% positive cases of coronavirus

refugee coronavirus
Posted at 5:11 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 20:15:16-04

AURORA, Colo. — Doctor P.J. Parmar said his decision to work as a family doctor for refugees was personal.

"I come from an immigrant background and I always wanted to work with under-served folks and the most under-served of the immigrants are refugees," Dr. Parmar said.

For the last month, Parmar said he and his staff have been busier than ever at Ardas Family Medicine in Aurora.

"At this time of year we usually see 40 patients a day and we’re seeing, 60, 70 a day right now. We’re up to 400 samples (of COVID-19) we’ve tested so far and of those, our average is about 45% positive," he said.

Nearly 50% of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in that particular area of Aurora, a high number for any community.

Doctor Parmar said refugees are most impacted because many times several people live in one household or work in closed spaces.

"We seem to have a much higher rate of prevalence of the disease here and it seems much closer to either a cruise ship or a confined facility because our patients really are living in confined areas or working in them, too." he said.

Hem Kharka was one of several drivers pulling in for a coronavirus test Wednesday afternoon. He brought his wife and mother to make sure they were not positive for the virus.

"One of my brothers who lives with me together in the same house was positive, so I’m just concerned that I might have it or my mom does have it," Kharka said.

With no signs of slowing down, Parmar and his staff will keep doing what they can to serve those who many times are forgotten.