If you believe you should tested for COVID-19, doctors at local hospitals say the first thing you should do is contact your primary physician.
“Talk to them, tell them what’s going on, tell them why you think you need to be tested and take their advice,” said Dr. Ferdinand J. Venditti, the Hospital General Director at Albany Medical Center.
If you get a physician’s order to be tested, patients will be sent to one of these testing sites that have been set up throughout the Capital Region.
Albany Medical Center is conducting Coronavirus testing in a tent that's located outside in its parking lot.
“This is going to allow us to safely tests patients while maintaining safe access for other patients who need our emergency services,” Venditti said.
Albany Medical Center and other local hospitals detailed their COVID-19 preparedness plan on Friday afternoon. Other hospitals have also set up testing tents, trailers, or in a space separate from everyone else.
St. Peter’s Health Partners is using a building at Albany Memorial where the airflow is isolated from the rest of the facility.
“It’s essentially under negative pressure, the same effect as having a tent in the parking area,” said Dr. Steven Hanks, the Chief Clinical Officer at St. Peter’s Health Partner.
But these doctors say testing kits are limited, which is why a physician’s order is needed. They’re also still not sure how the billing will be handled, but assures those that need testing will get it.
“If we do this very well everywhere and we’re all doing it, we can limit and mitigate the spread of this virus and put less strain on the healthcare system,” said Dr. David Liebers, the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Ellis Medicine.
Once swabs are taken from patients, it’s sent to the Wadsworth Center for testing. Right now, doctors say the results are coming back in about 24 hours.
“Obviously we’re not just focused on today, but the tomorrow and two weeks ahead,” said Dr. Dennis McKenna, the Incoming President and CEO at Albany Medical Center.