CLEVELAND (WJW)– New COVID-19 testing procedures are now in place at the Cleveland Clinic one day after a joint testing drive-through location with University Hospitals reached capacity shortly after opening.
On Wednesday, Cleveland Clinic Dr. Bob Wyllie, the chief of medical operations, said they are making high-risk patients who are hospitalized or above the age of 61 a priority for testing at the W.O. Walker Building in Cleveland.
“A lot of doctors in Northeast Ohio all began ordering tests all at once, that really started to present a challenge,” Wyllie said.
In a statement a Cleveland Clinic spokesperson said, “We currently have a supply of testing swabs on hand, however, we did not fully anticipate the impact of the crisis in Italy, which is where the swabs are manufactured.”
The Cleveland Clinic is now looking at ways to produce their own testing swabs.
“Look at how we can maybe do some of our own manufacturing and what other types of swabs we can use. We’re going to have to figure that out and hopefully we think we can figure it out within the next 24 to 48 hours,” said the doctor.
Clinic patients who no longer fit into the high-risk testing profile will be contacted to receive further instruction, until then, they are advised to isolate from others.
“We’ll reevaluate whether they really have symptoms of the coronavirus or not and if they do we’ll do appropriate testing,” Wyllie said.
There is no change to the University Hospitals COVID-19 testing policy. Patients of any age with a doctor’s order from a UH physician can be tested at the Mayfield Heights location seven days a week between 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Patients will be issued an assigned window of time to arrive at the UH Landerbrook facility in Mayfield Heights.
“It’s just a calmer environment and, you know, in this state of pandemonium, we can’t have chaos. It needs calmness. It needs good communication,” said Dr. Cynthia Zelis, the vice president of ambulatory operations.
UH estimates testing 50 people per hour at the drive-through location and up to 500 people per day.