New Rochester Regional program aimed to help alleviate wait times at hospitals while also increasing access for pediatric COVID-19 testing

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC has been telling you about the long wait times and overcrowded urgent cares and emergency departments. With school back in session in person and colder months around the corner, that means more sick kids in school.

News10NBC’s Jenny Ly reports on how one hospital system is taking the steps to help reduce that strain and help local children get faster access to COVID-19 testing.

"When kids are going to the emergency department to get a test because they were sent home from school with a runny nose but nothing else, that really hinders the emergency department’s ability to do what they’re supposed to do," said Steven Schulz, M.D. Schulz is a pediatrician at Rochester Regional.

As a way to help the growing demand and alleviate pressure for both frontline workers and parents, Rochester Regional Health is announcing a new program.

The first pediatric COVID-19 testing location opened earlier this week in the Wilson Medical Building, located on the Rochester General Hospital Campus. Tomorrow, the health system will open a second location – previously Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care in North Greece – at 470 Long Pond Road.

As of tomorrow, the hours for both locations are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Schulz says the goal of the program is to try and decompress the overburdened facilities while also getting kids back to school safely and timely as possible.

"Our turn around time for tests that are done at these sites is typically 24 hours, at most 48, so that quick turnaround time (if a child doesn’t have COVID) will be able to the child get back in school as quickly as possible, which of course not only helps the child to be in school which we know is important, but also the parents that are making adjustments to their work schedules," Schulz said.

If your child receives care from an RRH affiliated pediatrician, and you think they need to be tested for COVID, call your provider and make an appointment to get a PCR test.