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Long lines for Covid testing not going away anytime soon, Summit CityMD CEO says: ‘We are being inundated’

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Long lines for Covid testing not going away anytime soon, Summit CityMD CEO says: ‘We are being inundated’

The strains that in latest weeks have stretched for hours at pressing care areas round New York Metropolis aren’t going away anytime quickly, Summit CityMD CEO Dr. Jeffrey Le Benger instructed CNBC on Friday.

Of the roughly 34,000 sufferers that Summit CityMD sees on a regular basis in New York and New Jersey, about 70% are Covid associated, Le Benger stated. And far of that’s folks in search of to get examined for Covid-19.

“These strains are going to proceed till a vaccine comes out and till the good climate comes about,” Le Benger stated on “Squawk on the Road.” “We’re being inundated, and we try to handle all of those sufferers who come and see us. We now have, sure, strains across the block.”

Demand for testing has surged in latest weeks as folks search to get examined for Covid-19 earlier than touring to see household for the vacations and because the virus spreads extra quickly throughout the nation. The spike in demand is but once more straining the nation’s skill to conduct molecular PCR testing, the so-called gold normal of diagnostic exams.

Summit CityMD, which was shaped final yr after a merger of Summit Medical Group and CityMD, operates about 200 pressing care clinics throughout New York and New Jersey. The corporate stated it has employed over 1,000 new crew members throughout the pandemic to deal with elevated demand for its companies.

“We now have to accommodate all these sufferers with protecting sanity and well being to our first-line suppliers,” Le Benger stated. Requested whether or not the demand for testing will stay excessive within the New York space after Thanksgiving, he responded, “Completely.”

“I believe we’re simply headed into, sadly, a really powerful time with the pandemic,” he stated. “And I believe that is going to proceed till {the summertime}, sadly.”

The corporate is conducting greater than 15,000 Covid exams on daily basis, Le Benger stated. However it’s not sufficient to satisfy demand.

“For months, our pressing care websites have been terribly busy, seeing thousands and thousands of sufferers for typical pressing care wants plus growing numbers of individuals in search of medical analysis and a COVID-19 take a look at,” CityMD stated in a message to sufferers earlier this month. “As you could have observed, lengthy strains are a every day truth at almost each CityMD as we see a pointy rise in COVID-19 circumstances throughout the area.”

Summit CityMD presents three sorts of Covid-19 exams: A fast antigen take a look at, an antibody take a look at and a molecular PCR take a look at. Fast antigen exams detect a present Covid-19 an infection and are most appropriately used to check symptomatic folks. However antigen exams’ accuracy can range, particularly in some settings and amongst folks with out signs.

Antibody exams detect prior an infection. PCR exams detect viral materials in an individual and are probably the most constantly correct sort of take a look at available on the market however are extra uncovered to a provide chain that is now resulting in delays in turnaround occasions.

Le Benger stated Summit CityMD is engaged on new software program in order that sufferers needn’t wait in line outside to get their Covid take a look at. However he urged folks to put on a masks, apply social distancing and comply with public well being steerage to cut back the demand for Summit CityMD’s companies.

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