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 email@example.com
To watch today's press briefing, which included this announcement, click here.
The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.
The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
MetroHealth 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 research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.
Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.
The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.