The demand for COVID-19 testing inside the Elm City is prompting new partnerships with local health care facilities.
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center and Fair Haven Community Health Center began testing for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The two health care facilities have a mission to provide testing in areas considered "hot spots" and that have a growing number of coronavirus cases.
In a news conference, Mayor Justin Elicker said access to testing is an issue both the city and two agencies want to tackle.
"The most important thing for us battling the virus is being able to test a lot of people on a regular basis and pair that with contact tracing," said Elicker.
Data from the city found that some areas heavily impacted by COVID-19 are areas with several social determinants, according to Dr. Doug Olson, who is the vice president of clinical affairs at Fair Haven Community Health Care.
"What we've seen is the patient population that community health centers have a problem with transportation, housing, food, job, and economic insecurity," Olson said. "Many times the patients we're treating come from lower socioeconomic status."
Olson said the center wants to provide efficient testing and care before and after patients come in.
"We are taking public health measures while providing information to our patients," he explained. "We want to let them know how to isolate and quarantine themselves from friends and family members."
The Cornell Scott Hill Health Center wants to grant access to communities that don't have access to drive-thru testing sites.
"We want to make sure the people who have the virus have the right medical care and know-how to take the extra at home," said Dr. Doug Bruce of Cornell Scott Hill Health Center.
At Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, they are asking suspected COVID-19 patients to call in before coming into the facility.
"We don't want people loitering around here for an hour waiting to get tested because they could expose someone else," said Bruce. "Instead, we're asking you to make a call to your health provider and receive clearance about testing."
The Cornell Scott Hill Health Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment only. Their number is 203-503-3000.
Fair Haven Community Health Care is prepared to test 40-50 patients per day and will be open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Their number is 203-871-4179.