Daily US Covid-19 case numbers with Omicron “could exceed previous peaks,” CDC warns

New York, like many other parts of the country, is seeing “a serious increased demand for testing,” said Dr. Neal Shipley, medical director of Northwell-GoHealth Urgent Care, adding that while they are not short on tests, they really need a “little bit of breathing room.” 

“Unfortunately, it feels a lot like it did last year, where the demand for testing and the surge is really straining the health system,” he told CNN. “We don’t have testing shortages right now … What we really need is a little bit of breathing room.”

Asymptomatic people should consider taking a home test if they can, he added.

“What we really want to do in the urgent care is test the sick and the ill, and help distinguish those who have Covid from those who don’t … So what we need is a little bit of breathing room,” he said.

Currently, the facility is serving New Yorkers who are sick, who are getting tested because they have been exposed to the virus and those who are getting tested ahead of a family visit for Christmas, according to Shipley.

“But it posed challenges for us because demand is very high,” he said. “The challenge right now is also flu season. There is lots of other respiratory viruses out there … and they all look like Covid at the beginning. Everybody has a cough. Everybody has a fever. Everybody feels lousy. The challenge is to distinguish those from Covid [patients] and get those people the care they need.” 

Shipley emphasized the importance of vaccines, boosters, masking, social distancing and hand-washing, which have been the expert guidelines for protection against Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.


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