CLEVELAND — Cleveland's MetroHealth System has announced that it is now able to test samples of COVID-19 coronavirus at its laboratory. 

MetroHealth says results will be available after only two hours, making it the first hospital in the state of Ohio with that technology. The hospital emphasizes that this service right now is for hospitalized patients. 

“Supplies are very limited, and testing at this time must be reserved for the hospitalized patients who are critically ill and those who have had direct contact with them,” said MetroHealth CEO and President Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE.

People who have mild to moderate symptoms are encouraged to call MetroHealth’s hotline: 440-59-COVID (440-592-6843),” Dr. Boutros said. MetroHealth’s Infection Prevention physicians evaluate all candidates and make the decision to test.

As capacity expands, MetroHealth will collaborate with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to make testing more widely available.

MetroHealth has received more than 1,100 calls since opening the COVID hotline Friday. Nearly half of those calls resulted in a telehealth visit with a physician. Approximately 90 percent of patients who spoke with physicians were directed to self-quarantine.

Boutros reminded people that the best things they can do to prevent the spread of the virus of to wash their hands, avoid touching their face, cover their coughs and practice social distancing by avoiding crowds.

Click here to see our special coronavirus section. 

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