Cities turn to a new model of coronavirus screening: Drive-throughs

Cities turn to a new model of coronavirus screening: Drive-throughs

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, April 11, 2020

New York state opened its very first drive-thru coronavirus test site Friday in New Rochelle, the city that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has actually stated has the greatest cluster of coronavirus cases in the nation.

With 158 cases in Westchester County, much of them in New Rochelle, the city has become a hot spot not just for the break out but also for unique ways to track and minimize the spread of the virus. Earlier today, Cuomo executed a “containment zone” around a one-mile radius of the city as an emergency situation procedure to restrict motion in the area and shut down schools, homes of worship and other gathering locations.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The drive-thru test site can checking approximately 200 individuals a day at the minute and will become able to test 500 a day, Cuomo said. Patients should make a visit initially; concern is provided to New Rochelle homeowners but is open to anyone living in Westchester. Individuals with hidden conditions or those who are senior are considered more vulnerable populations and will get visits initially.

” You wish to discover the favorable cases since you desire to be able to separate those positive cases.”

” You desire to discover the positive cases because you wish to be able to separate those positive cases, and after that find out who that individual may have been in touch with so you can get them the assistance they require,” Cuomo said at a press conference Friday. “This is a very innovative method of testing.”

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

New York is not the very first state to do this. Places in other states, consisting of Colorado, Washington, California, Utah, Minnesota, Delaware and Indiana, have actually executed their own drive-thru test websites today or remain in the process of setting them up. The websites aim to increase the schedule of tests and belong to a greater effort by hospitals from coast to coast to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Cuomo called the drive-thru method “not only faster and easier, it’s also smarter and much safer.”

” It’s a new technique since these are all brand-new issues,” he told MSNBC after his interview. “It keeps individuals in their cars and truck so they do not stroll into an emergency situation room and contaminate other individuals.”

Checking, Cuomo added, requires to become more extensive throughout the United States. On Thursday, a leading public health authorities acknowledged America has stopped working to meet the capacity for coronavirus screening that it needs, an argument Cuomo and other lawmakers have made for weeks.

Download the NBC News app for complete coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

” We need to get our testing numbers way up rapidly if we have a shot at slowing the spread, and this is among the ways we’re attempting to do it in the state,” Cuomo said of the drive-thru center.

The swab for the test is done by doctor in individual protective equipment. Each appointment takes about 15 minutes, Cuomo stated.

National Guard troops stand by as individuals wait to be evaluated at the state’s first drive through COVID-19 mobile screening center at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, N.Y. on March 13, 2020. Timothy A. Clary/ AFP – Getty Images

The drive-thru model follows what healthcare workers in South Korea were doing weeks back, helping that nation become a leader in screening abilities. South Korea is doing 10,000 tests per day, while the U.S. has actually had a hard time to do a fraction of that in overall.

The drive-thru tests in South Korea are totally free and paid for by the federal government. In America, puts like the Mayo Center have actually stated they will use the drive-thru test at no extra charge.

However the rollout has actually not lacked hiccups. A drive-thru center in Denver was closed due to bad weather condition Friday. And in Wilmington, Delaware, there was such a long line of vehicles, health care employees were not able to test everybody.

Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook.

Image: Elizabeth Chuck Elizabeth Chuck

Elizabeth Chuck is a reporter for NBC News.