At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Dimock operates the on-site testing center like clockwork. On average, 100 people are tested per day, within a two-hour window. Community members can walk or drive up to the outdoor structure and within minutes be on their way, with test results coming back in approximately 24 hours, thanks to our collaboration with Dimock’ s Primary Medical Partner Beth Israel Lahey Health.
“When we started the testing operation in March, we had a very clear goal to ensure our patients could be tested in their own community, in a familiar setting, among familiar faces,” says Dr. Holly Oh, Dimock’s Chief Medical Officer. “It’s through the generous support of donors that we could accomplish it. As the months have gone by, we’ve been able to evolve, expand our capacity, refine our protocols and test more people, faster.”
Last week, the staff were put to the test on a scale they hadn’t previously experienced. Explains Dr. Michael Tang, Chief Behavioral Health Officer, “A patient arrived at our acute treatment center [inpatient detox] and, during the admission process, was offered a COVID-19 test. He initially refused but after encouragement from our team, he changed his mind. The result came back positive.”
No time was wasted. The patient was immediately moved to the special COVID-19 quarantine and treatment unit on campus, in the Dr. Marie Zakrzewska building. However, the brief time he spent in the detox meant anyone who had been in the same space was potentially exposed.
Every staff member, resident and visitor who was at risk was identified. From there the team prepped the specimen kits, organized the paperwork, conducted the tests and sent them to be processed. Within 24 hours of testing, the results were back, all of them negative.
“The efficiency and amount of work it took to get this done so quickly is incredible,” says Dr. Tang. “It’s a testament to the dedication of our staff and the COVID-19 testing infrastructure we implemented nine months ago.”
The testing operation resumed its daily routine without missing a beat, serving a grateful community. Donors play a vital role in healing and caring for the Dimock community, every day. We are so very thankful for their kindness, support and steadfast commitment to all of Dimock’s patients and families.