FDNY reminds New Yorkers not to call 911 for a COVID test

The FDNY tweeted Wednesday that ambulances do not provide testing for COVID-19, and patients are not transported to a hospital to be tested upon request.

News 12 Staff

Dec 30, 2021, 3:00 PM

Updated 934 days ago

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FDNY reminds New Yorkers not to call 911 for a COVID test
As New York City continues to struggle with hours-long COVID-19 testing lines and skyrocketing rates of positive COVID-19 cases, one agency is reminding New Yorkers not to call ambulances for testing.
The FDNY tweeted Wednesday that ambulances do not provide testing for COVID-19, and patients are not transported to a hospital to be tested upon request.
The department has experienced instances of people calling 911 because they are sick and then asking to be tested, or asking to be taken to the hospital, the FDNY says, with the department now seeing a few hundred extra calls per day.
"Transport decisions are made based on medical needs," the FDNY tweeted Tuesday. "Please only call 911 during a real emergency."
Like other agencies around the city, the FDNY is struggling with low attendance rates as more members continue to test positive for COVID.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Wednesday that the agency's medical leave is at 30% for EMS, and 17% for fire personnel.
"Those numbers are even higher than they were back when we were at the height of the pandemic last March and April," he says. "So it is certainly effecting our manpower status."
The FDNY also put over 100 EMTs who have completed their training into the field from the EMS Academy to help with staffing, and EMS is using mandatory overtime to help fill gaps.
On Tuesday, the NYPD made the decision to order all of its uniformed members that would be off for the new year to report for duty on Friday and Saturday.
The decision was made to provide police coverage for New Year's celebrations in Times Square and precincts around the city as attendance numbers struggle due to COVID-19 cases within the NYPD.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday on the "Today" show that New York City will still hold its Times Square New Year's celebration despite calls for the gathering to be canceled and record numbers of COVID-19 infections around the city and nation.
The state and city has opened additional testing sites throughout the city in an attempt to ease the long lines, and the MTA today opened additional testing sites at a small number of subway stations throughout the boroughs.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday 67,090 new positive COVID cases in New York State, as the patient hospitalization number climbed up to 6,767 people.


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