Two hospitals are suspending community testing of the Coronavirus to conserve a limited number of testing kits.
Albany Medical Center Hospital will continue drive up testing adjacent to the Emergency Department on New Scotland Avenue until 9 p.m. Friday, March 20. That site will remain operable to examine and evaluate patients and will be operated by emergency room staff.
The testing facility operated by St. Peter’s Health Partners will only be testing symptomatic health care providers at the Albany Memorial Hospital campus on Northern Boulevard.
“The difficult decision was made in order to conserve testing resources for those at highest risk, including inpatients, symptomatic direct care workers and those with high-risk exposure to the virus,” the two health care organizations said in a joint statement. “This will also serve as a conservation measure for supplies to test the inpatient population at Albany Med and in SPHP hospitals under investigation for COVID-19.”
People who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, cough and/or shortness of breath — but who doctor’s say do not need hospitalization, are asked to follow the recommended 14-day home quarantine and any other treatment regimen recommended by their doctor.
Ellis Hospital in Schenectady suspended community testing earlier this week.
Meanwhile, via social media, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking all recently retired health care professionals to be part of a reserve staff to “supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those who may need to be intubated.”
The state Department of Health will re-certify qualified individuals who want to enlist.
Qualified medical and nursing school students and staff are also being recruited and can apply at health.ny.gov/assistance.
More than 7,100 New Yorkers have tested positive for the virus and more than 13,600 across the nation.