“Some of the most popular sites for covid testing in New York City have 10-14 day delays for results,” Levine tweeted Friday. “But there are underutilized sites that are much faster. ”
These faster testing sites, according to Levine, include New York’s 11 public hospitals, sites run by New York state, and sites run by two lesser-known providers, Advantage Care and One Medical. Here is the list of his newsletter:
- The 11 public hospitals in New York (e.g. Harlem Hospital, Metropolitan, Bellevue)
- New York State-run walk-in sites (see here for list)
- Sites managed by Advantage Care (see here for the list)
- Sites managed by One Medical (more information here)
The delay in coronavirus test results – a major obstacle in the city’s efforts to trace and contain the virus – has been in part attributed to backlogs at major labs handling an influx of tests from across the country, where cases are increasing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said late last week that one of those labs, Quest Diagnostics, was on the way to fixing capacity issues.
“What we have agreed on is that over the next week or two Quest’s turnaround time for New York will be four days or less,” de Blasio said of about of a call he had with the CEO of Quest. “… The CEO made it clear that the worst is behind them. They added a lot of capacity and we shouldn’t be seeing this issue again. ”
Quest’s backlog is part of the reason New York hospitals may be a better bet than satellite sites run by the public health system, Levine said. Some of those satellite sites send their tests to Quest Labs, making the delays “hit or miss,” he said.
Other problems affecting the testing system include a shortage of so-called reagents, a chemical used by laboratory workers to obtain test results.
“The federal government continues to fail in its obligation to organize production of key test components like reagents, with continuing shortages nationwide,” Levine said in his newsletter.
De Blasio has long called on President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would help expand lab capacity and produce reagents.
Other New Yorkers have shared their experiences and advice in response to Levine’s advice here.