Our Union Health Centers are doing coronavirus testing

March 13, 2020 1:30PM

As of Friday, March 13, all four of our Union Health Centers in New York City began Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing of HTC-represented workers covered by our Industry-Wide Health Benefit Plan and their eligible dependents, at no cost to participants and their dependents.

However, the supply of test kits our health centers have is very limited at this stage due to the nation-wide shortage. The Health Benefit Fund expects its supply of test kits to increase with each day, but must ration the tests we have on hand and prioritize/triage which patients are most in need of testing.

People who are not feeling sick should not ask for the test and should avoid coming to the health centers to minimize the chance of transmitting the virus or being infected.

In general, testing is appropriate for patients who fit into the following categories:

  • Symptomatic patients older than 65 and patients with compromised immune system, chronic medical conditions (e.g., Diabetes Mellitus, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), or who are pregnant;
  • Patients with known close contact with suspect or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 case

Members and other plan participants who fit into one of the above-listed categories should not go to the Health Centers to be tested without first calling one of these Coronavirus Hotline numbers staffed by a nurse who will evaluate and triage cases:

When you call the hotline, the nurse will ask you a series of questions to determine whether you ought to be tested and in what priority. Please cooperate and be patient, in light of the nature and scale of this situation.