"For months, our urgent care sites have been extraordinarily busy, seeing millions of patients for typical urgent care needs plus increasing numbers of people seeking medical evaluation and a COVID-19 test," CityMD said in an email sent to patients. "As you may have noticed, long lines are a daily fact at nearly every CityMD as we see a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the region."
The letter went on to say that CityMD would still attempt to see all those in line by closing time, but that no new patients would be added after the designated hours.
"Our goal is to treat every person who needs care, period, but unfortunately, we can't stay open past our normal hours on a daily basis," the email read. "Our site staff and doctors have been seeing patients well beyond normal closing time for months now, and we've reached the point where they are sacrificing their own safety and health."
Related: NY tightens restrictions as cases rise again
CityMD officials say staffing, hiring and training have all been increased, with more than 1,000 new team members added over the past several months. However, it is still not enough to accommodate the current patient load with the expected level of service..
"We are hopeful that this change will allow us to continue to provide our communities with excellent care while setting clear expectations for patients and giving our teams the ability to end work on time and get home to their families," the email read. "We believe the current situation will continue for several months, and we must preserve our ability to care for the people of the New York region as long as this crisis persists."
Lines have been long in recent weeks as testing ramps up and as the United States is beginning to see the so-called second wave of COVID-19 infection.
City Councilman Mark Levine called the current testing situation unacceptable.
Long lines already again today at testing sites in NYC, especially CityMD. Some waits have been over 3 hrs long this week. Zero appntmts available at Health Dept rapid testing sites.— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) November 13, 2020
Demand for testing is surging as NYC enters its 2nd wave. We need to expand testing sites--fast.
Two weeks ago in NYC: three hour lines to vote— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) November 13, 2020
Today in NYC: three hour lines to get a Covid test
Neither are acceptable.
Still, CityMD says the change is necessary.
"We are proud to be a part of the communities we serve and care deeply about providing access to healthcare," the email read. "We're proud to have been on the front line of COVID-19 care since the day it hit our region. We're also proud to be a great place to work and a company that cares deeply about our patients and our employees."
Related: 'People should get ready' for NYC schools to close, mayor says
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