Parents’ to-do list: How to test a child with COVID-19?


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Scramble for the new semester will be different from this year.

Some parents are trying to get school supplies, set up their own classrooms, and understand when, where, and how to test for COVID-19 at school.

That is, sorting out different options such as pediatricians, health centers, hospital networks, school-health system partnerships, and more. There are also costs to consider, as the COVID-19 test is often advertised as free in pharmacies, emergency medical facilities, and other sites. Insurance coverage and fees may vary..

Allison Dubois, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Hudson River Healthcare, needs to talk to clinicians when deciding whether and when a child should be tested for coronavirus. I said there is.

“I want to make sure that the tests are done at the right time,” Dubois said. “Tests may be too early … recommendations are changing.”

There are test sites and facilities scattered throughout Long Island.

Federally accredited medical centers in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk offer free, low-cost services. The cost of a visit is only $ 15 or $ 20, according to a sliding scale based on a person’s income. Centers, including Long Island FQHC Inc., support low-income, under-insured and uninsured residents.

Long Island FQHC operates 10 centers in Nassau County, providing comprehensive medical services and COVID-19 testing. In addition, Nassau County is providing non-profit funding to run free COVID-19 inspection clinics in several locations on Saturday, said its president and chief executive officer, David Nemirov. ..

At those clinics, people are not asked for insurance or other paperwork, only contact information for test results.

“In the early days, it became clear that COVID-19 was affecting most minority communities,” Nemirov said. “We want people to test quickly and start contact tracking so they can get the services they need.”

Both Nemirov and Dubois pointed out that all children under the age of 18 are entitled to free health insurance, even if their parents are not eligible. They can be registered at health centers in both counties and are an important step in linking them with primary care.

Hudson River Healthcare has 10 centers and serves approximately 80,000 people annually in Suffolk County.

Free test option

Free testing is available by booking at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University state-sponsored drive-through centers.

Many pharmacies and emergency medical centers offer COVID-19 diagnostic tests, but you need to make an appointment and go through the screening process. Last week, CVS Health launched the COVID-19 test at its drive-through site for children ages 12 and up. A spokeswoman for an insurance company said uninsured patients would be subject to the Federal CARES Act program.

Since May, Northwell Health has partnered with more than 70 faith-based organizations in the New York area to conduct free tests.

Dr. Debsaras Lopez, Senior Vice President of Health for the Northwell Community and Residents, said: “Being in these communities was very important and was hit hard by COVID.”

Saras Lopez said Northwell published the program locally online and also promoted it at convenience stores, bus stops and community centers.

For example, Northwell set up a COVID-19 test center in Freeport’s Transformation Church in August, and Rev. Raymond Wilson said it needed access. “This is a neighborhood with a lot of immigrants who have moved. Some people can’t speak English and some can’t work,” Wilson said.

Wilson said some uninsured community members couldn’t afford to be tested elsewhere.

Separately, Northwell has partnered with the town of Hempstead to set up a COVID-19 test site. They were paid by the CARES Law Fund.

The antibody testing center is up and running, and town supervisor Don Krabin said at the town’s location, “We are already in talks to extend the program to include the COVID-19 diagnostic test.”

Make it accessible to families

Some Long Island school districts have partnered with the health system for COVID-19 preparation plans and family information.

According to Northwell Direct CEO Nick Stefanizzi, Northwell works with about 10 school districts and private schools in New York to mitigate risk and provide contact information and safety tips for parents. It is provided to.

Depending on the situation, Northwell helps children gain “appropriate levels of access.” This includes getting a test, making an appointment with a pediatrician, or booking a visit for emergency treatment.

“It is important for educational facilities to invest in the front end to really reduce the potential for the spread of the infection,” said Stefanizzi. “But no plan can guarantee 100% that the spread will be thwarted, so we have a triage call center in case parents and educators have questions or concerns.”

Greenvale School, a private school in Old Brookville, says it worked with Northwell to develop a safety plan for the school year.

The plan includes a review of the school’s filtration system and training staff on how COVID-19 spreads, and is the principal of Greenvale with 425 students from pre-nursery to 8th grade. Jesse Dougherty said.

Dougherty added that call centers are highly regarded by their parents.

“The Concierge Northwell Hotline is a great relief for the family,” he said. “Instead of asking the school what to do, you can ask Northwell.”

Plans for all schools

Many public schools post information about test centers on their websites.

“Every school has a protocol available online,” said Dr. Sharon Nackman, chief of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school will send information to the parents.”

For example, Westbury Union Free School District There is a special section It contains information about testing, preventing the spread of COVID-19, and what to do if you are infected with a virus.

Public schools were required by the state to provide test information Julie Lutz, Chief Operating Officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, serving 51 school districts in the county for her parents, said.

“Most districts don’t do their own tests, so we shared information about where to take the tests,” Lutz said, adding that some are free and some can be claimed for family insurance.

Dr. Christina Johns, senior medical adviser to the pediatric emergency medical group, said Hyde Park-based PM Pediatrics is in talks with public and private schools to provide clinical guidance on COVID-19 testing. ..

She said PM Pediatrics predicts an increase in tests after the school opens for a few weeks. The emergency care center will claim the test through family insurance. Those without insurance will be charged $ 65 for the PCR test and $ 100 for the rapid test.

“As long as students need to take a test, it’s case-dependent,” Johns said. “Exposure is defined as being close to an infected person for 15 minutes, 6 feet or closer. Technically, schools create accommodation to keep children out of exposure. But in reality, it’s difficult for most kids, so the courage is to take the test. “

According to experts, parents should start by reading the school’s COVID-19 Action Plan, a document required by the state.

As a good first step, Nuffman added that parents worried that their child was exposed to COVID-19 “need to check in immediately” with a pediatrician or primary care physician. ..

“The worst thing is to go to Facebook and ask a question,” she added. “That’s the most likely way to get the wrong information.”

To test a child with COVID-19

Q: My child’s school student or staff tested positive for COVID-19. Does my child need to take the COVID-19 test?

A: We recommend that you consult your healthcare professional first. The timing of the test depends on the likelihood of exposure to confirmed individuals with COVID-19 cases. Children without a regular pediatrician can use Long Island FQHC Inc or (516) 296-3742 or Hudson River Health Care in Nassau County, Nassau County, one of the federal qualified health centers in Nassau or Suffolk County. for Suffolk County, hrhcare.org, (844) 474-2273. Prices are based on the sliding scale. There is no charge for the COVID-19 test, but BioReference Labs may pass a charge that is subject to the Federal CARES Law Program.

Q: Where can I get the free COVID-19 test?

A: Sites operated by the New York State Department of Health, including Jones Beach and Stony Brook University drive-through test sites, are free, but must be booked. To register coronavirus.health.nyc.gov / covid-19-testing.. Long Island FQHC offers free COVID-19 tests on the first and third Saturdays of Elmont and Roosevelt, and the second and fourth Saturdays of Hempstead, Freeport and Westbury. For reservations, please call (516) 396-7500.

Source: Newsday Research


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