This article was originally published here
medRxiv. 2021 Apr 12:2021.04.06.21255009. doi: 10.1101/2021.04.06.21255009. Preprint.
BACKGROUND: Describing SARS-CoV-2 testing and positivity trends among urgent care users is crucial for understanding the trajectory of the pandemic.
OBJECTIVE: To describe demographic and clinical characteristics, positivity rates, and repeat testing patterns among patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 at CityMD, an urgent care provider in the New York City metropolitan area.
DESIGN: Retrospective study of all persons testing for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1, 2020 and January 8, 2021 at 115 CityMD locations in the New York metropolitan area.
PATIENTS: Individuals receiving a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic or serologic test.
MEASUREMENTS: Test and individual level SARS-CoV-2 positivity by PCR, rapid antigen, or serologic tests.
RESULTS: During the study period, 3.4 million COVID tests were performed on 1.8 million individuals. In New York City, CityMD diagnosed 268,298 individuals, including 17% of all reported cases. Testing levels were higher among 20-29 year olds, non-Hispanic Whites, and females compared with other groups. About 24.8% (n=464,902) were repeat testers. Test positivity was higher in non-Hispanic Black (6.4%), Hispanic (8.0%), and Native American (8.0%) patients compared to non-Hispanic White (5.4%) patients. Overall seropositivity was estimated to be 21.7% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 21.6-21.8) and was highest among 10-14 year olds (27.3%). Seropositivity was also high among non-Hispanic Black (24.5%) and Hispanic (30.6%) testers, and residents of the Bronx (31.3%) and Queens (30.5%). Using PCR as the gold standard, SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests had a false positive rate of 5.4% (95%CI 5.3-5.5).
CONCLUSION: Urgent care centers can provide broad access to critical evaluation, diagnostic testing and treatment of a substantial number of ambulatory patients during pandemics, especially in population-dense, urban epicenters.