Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Tuesday, April 28 at 1:30 p.m. and was updated on Tuesday, May 5 at 6:25 p.m.
GUILDERLAND — Priority 1 Urgent Care is the newest coronavirus testing site, announced by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Tuesday, April 28, as part of a partnership with the county to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Priority 1 Urgent Care is located at 2080 Western Ave. in Hamilton Square in Guilderland and anyone interested in being tested there is encouraged to call 518-867-8040. According to a press release, testing will be reimbursed by an individual’s health insurance and will only be done by appointments “after being screened for expanded CDC symptoms over the phone.”
Jonathan Halpert, who owns the urgent care center, said staff are trained to conduct nasopharyngeal swab testing. “We’re really appreciative of the fact that we can work with the county government to accomplish obtaining materials for testing and obtaining materials for personal protective equipment,” he said.
He, however, noted that Priority 1 Urgent Care does not have a walk-up or drive-thru facility, unlike numerous other coronavirus testing sites like at the University at Albany.
“We treat patients inside the office which has immaculate sanitation and cleaning standards,” Halpert added. “People should call our office first to discuss symptoms they may have as opposed to driving down here and not meet our criteria of being tested. We test people if they show symptoms like coughing and we bring them in to register them as patients before figuring out if they can benefit from a COVID-19 test.”
Halpert said he first reached out to county Department of Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen in early April about wanting to get involved with increased COVID-19 testing. After getting approval, the county equipped his urgent care center with N95 masks and testing kits; COVID-19 testing then began in mid-April.
He acknowledged his hardworking staff “who understand their obligation as acute healthcare frontline providers. They’ve risen to the task really well and I think people in the Capital District who use our services can take pride and comfort in being taken care of.”