The test kits that were used had a specific long swab, and it required a trained medical professional to administer the test. Not fun and easy, had to go way up into someone's nose, had to be handled a certain way, kept in a certain environment to be sent on to the lab. This was a more elaborate process, and not only slower, more elaborate for the patient, but for the health care worker. A health care worker, even to do one test, had to put on the whole PPE ensemble. The face shield, the N95 mask, the gloves, gown, because the problem was, a lot of times it made the patient sneeze, and obviously it might be someone with COVID 19, and that was going to expose the health care worker. We have been working to confirm for weeks now that there was a better way to do this, and the good news I have today is there is a better, easier, safer way to do testing, and we're going to start that this week at our Health + Hospitals clinics right here in New York City.
We're calling it "self-swab tests." When you go to one of the community testing sites, the health care worker explains to the person how to administer the test themselves. They go into another room for privacy, and the patient takes something that's basically a sterile Q-tip, puts that in their nose. They don't have to go way deep, just enough to get a sample. They spit into a cup, and those two samples provide enough information for the testing to be done. When that's done, just like we've all experienced at doctor's offices, you hand the sample over to a health care worker, the clinic or the health care provider sends it off to the lab to get the results. This is something we're going to start using now aggressively, because it'll improve the situation for everyone.
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