The city has begun expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing at two Queens hospitals, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst (formerly Elmhurst Hospital Center) and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (formerly Queens General Hospital) in Jamaica with cases passing the 1,400 mark in the borough as of Friday morning.
Testing has begun at ten hospitals across the five boroughs.
“If we’re going to curb this epidemic, we need fast and expansive testing for those most at risk for serious illness,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Now we can get more New Yorkers the care they need at the right time, helping save lives, one test at a time.”
Queens residents with moderate-to-severe symptoms, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions who show symptoms are advised to call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for more information. Those Queens residents with mild illnesses, who are not above the age of 50 or have underlying health conditions, should continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and consult their healthcare provider if their symptoms do not subside in 3 to 4 days.
The testing at both Queens hospitals will be inside tents that are similar to the ones used during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. Patients with appointments will receive an expedited consultation with a primary care physician to capture their medical history before their sample is collected for testing.
This will ensure that the appropriate medical treatment is provided should a test come back positive. Samples collected by NYC Health + Hospitals, which operates both medical centers in Queens, will be sent to BioReference Laboratory for testing.