Jacobi Launches Drive thru COVID-19 Testing

With more than 25,000 confirmed corona virus cases in New York and 2,328 in the Bronx, medical professionals are doing everything they can to help people.

On March 17, Jacobi Hospital launched a drive thru testing site for coronavirus. So far, the disease has killed 131 in the city, including a principal in Brooklyn and renowned playwright Terrence McNally.

Dr. Elana Sydney, chief of ambulatory medicine at Jacobi, spoke with the Bronx Times about how the testing works and who should come for it. She stressed that people do not need a doctor’s note, but must call 311 in order to make an appointment and they cannot just show up at the site. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I think people are concerned, obviously anxious, but I think the overall atmosphere has been controlled,” Sydney said.

Upon arrival the patients are greeted by a few nurses and a doctor. The car pulls up, the nurse gets their info, the doctor asks them what symptoms they are having and then swabs their mouth. A diagnosis is received within 48 hours.

During her brief interview around 12:30 p.m. on March 20, there had already been 30 cars at the site. Sydney said if anyone has a fever, coughing, sore throat or respiratory issues they should call 311 and make an appointment.

“I think the best thing everyone can be doing, even with mild symptoms, is to stay home, isolate and quarantine themselves,” she said.

According to Sydney, most people will experience flu like systems, but since there is no cure, it is spreading much quicker. Furthermore, the elderly and people with weaker immune systems are more prone to it.

The doctor stressed that people are flooding the emergency rooms when they aren’t symptomatic and that isn’t helping

“I think people are anxious and they want to get tested,” Sydney said.

On March 20, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals today announced expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing capacity across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers and four drive-thru test sites.

Citywide, there are 14,776 positive cases of COVID-19 and 131 fatalities. Currently, there are 4,364 cases in Queens, 2,887 in Manhattan, 4,237 in Brooklyn, 2,328 in the Bronx, and 953 in Staten Island.

In addition to Jacobi, there will be 10 new sites at hospitals each serving 150 people per day.

  • There are eight already open in Bellevue, Elmhurst, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings, Lincoln, Woodhull, Queens
  • There will be seven new sites at Gotham clinics, each serving 50 to 75 people per day and all opened last week at Belvis, Cumberland, East New York, Gouverneur, Morrisania, Sydenham and Vanderbilt·







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