Cleveland, OH,
08
May
2020
|
06:00 PM
America/New_York

MetroHealth Joins With Cuyahoga County and Board of Health to Increase COVID-19 Testing

The MetroHealth System will partner with Cuyahoga County and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to perform COVID-19 testing on up to 30,000 people living in group settings.

“Since March, teams of MetroHealth physicians and nurses have tested and cared for people living in homeless shelters, on the streets in camps, nursing homes and group homes—places where social distancing is very difficult,” said MetroHealth President and CEO, Akram Boutros, MD. “In partnership with Cuyahoga County and the Board of Health, we are ready to expand this important work across the county. This is what MetroHealth has done for nearly 200 years. We respond to crises, keep our community safe, and care for everyone, regardless of income, insurance status, or any other hurdle they may face.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced the County is committing $5 million to significantly increase COVID-19 testing over the next several months. The funds will be supplied to the County Board of Health, which will coordinate with MetroHealth in the implementation of the testing.

“The lack of access to testing for the coronavirus has been dangerous and even deadly to the residents of Cuyahoga County and people all over the world,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “An increase in testing capacity means quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those people and immediate isolation to prevent spread. I am grateful for MetroHealth and the Board of Health for their contributions and partnership in keeping our residents safe and healthy.”

MetroHealth personnel will conduct the testing, in consultation with the Board of Health. The Board of Health will also coordinate with the City of Cleveland and other health partners. Testing will be focused on those living in congregate group settings, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, which is consistent with the “Priority 2” group that the Ohio Department of Health has mentioned in their testing protocol.

The tests will be used to determine if people are currently infected and will focus on priority groups in the county. These groups will include hot spots or clusters detected by the County Board of Health, as well as congregate facilities such as homeless shelters, adult homes for those with developmental disabilities and other neighborhood sites.

“This is a welcome, public-health focused expansion of community-based testing in Cuyahoga County,” said Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan. “The approach builds on our strong collaboration with Executive Budish, MetroHealth, and a range of other clinical partners during the ongoing pandemic response.”

Those who operate congregate living facilities and are interested in receiving testing are encouraged to contact the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. They can also contact MetroHealth at wecare@metrohealth.org

To watch today's press briefing, which included this announcement, click here.

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

For more information, visit metrohealth.org.