Walmart Flu Clinics 

With H1N1 cases on the rise, emergency rooms and doctors offices are full.There are other options. Clinics are popping up in stores like Walmart.That has some shoppers concerned about the spread of disease, but folks at the clinic say there’s no reason to worry.Angela Dimillo has more.The buzzer goes off, that means it’s your turn. Beepers from the clinic at Walmart, run by Eastern Maine Medical Center, let patients know when to come back to the office: but while they wait, they could be shopping, leaving behind germs: something many shoppers are watching for.Alissa Downing, shopper: “I think it’s something i’m aware of and definitely take care of.” Patricia Preston, family nurse at the clinic, says they have procedures in place to prevent the spread of things like the flu. Patricia Preston, family nurse: “If there is someone that comes in and they are symptomatic, we ask them to put on a mask so that we’re protected as well.” Preston says many people have come in with flu symptoms in the week the clinic has been open, when they do, they’re asked to stay put until they’re checked. Patricia Preston: “Sometimes they’re not even symptomatic and they’re already out there walking. It’s the people walking around that i’m concerned with.” This is the first Walmart clinic in Maine, but Walmart representatives say there are already more then 100 centers nationally.The company hopes to triple that number, while keeping public safety in mind. Dale McMindes, store manager: “Obviously, Walmart will take every precaution to provide safety to our customers.” So, while sick people will come to the Walmart clinic for care, officials say they pose no greater threat than the general public. Angela Dimillo, WABI TV 5 News, Bangor.