Long lines for Covid testing not going away, Summit CityMD CEO says

CEO of Summit CityMD, Dr. Jeffrey Le Banger said Friday that the lines that have stretched for hours in recent weeks at essential care locations around New York City will never be far away.

Le Bengau said that of the approximately 34,000 patients that Summit CityMD sees daily in New York and New Jersey, about 70% are Kovid related. And many of them want to get Kovid-19 examined.

“These lines are to continue until a vaccine is released and until good weather arrives,” Le Benger said on “Squeak on the Street”. “We’re being submerged, and we’re trying to take care of all these patients who come in and see us. We have, yes, lines around the block.”

The demand for testing has increased in recent weeks as people want to test for Kovid-19 before traveling to see family for the holidays and as the virus spreads rapidly across the country. The spike in demand is yet to strain the country’s ability to conduct molecular PCR tests, the so-called gold standard of clinical trials.

Summit CityMD, which was formed last year after the merger of Summit Medical Group and CityMD, operates about 200 urgent care clinics in New York and New Jersey. The company said it has hired more than 1,000 new team members during the epidemic to deal with the growing demand for its services.

“We have to accommodate all these patients with their first line of providers having discretion and health,” Le Banger said. Asked if the trial demand would remain high in the New York area after Thanksgiving, he replied, “Absolutely.”

“I think we’re just taking the lead, unfortunately, having a very difficult time with the epidemic,” he said. “And I think it’s going to continue until summer, unfortunately.”

Le Benzer said the company is conducting more than 15,000 Kovid tests every day. But this is not enough to meet the demand.

CityMD said in a message to patients earlier this month, “For months, our urgent care sites have been exceptionally busy, with millions of patients in need of specific urgent care and millions for medical evaluation and COVID-19 testing Seeing the patients, it’s busy. ” “As you may have noticed, long lines are a daily fact in almost every CityMD as we see a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the region.”

CityMD offers three types of Kovid-19 tests: a rapid antigen test, an antibody test and a molecular PCR test. Rapid antigen tests detect a current Kovid-19 infection and are most appropriately used to test symptomatic people. But the accuracy of antigen tests can vary, especially in some settings and in people without symptoms.

Antibody tests detect pre-infection. PCR tests detect viral content in an individual and are consistently the most accurate type of test on the market, but are more exposed to a supply chain that is now leading to delay in turnaround times.

Le Banger said Summit CityMD is working on new software so that patients do not have to wait in line outside to get their Kovid tests done. But he urged people to wear masks, practice social disturbances and follow public health guidance to reduce the demand for CityMD’s services.