Drive-through Collection Sites

En español – Spanish
Em português – Portuguese

What is the COVID-19 drive-through collection site?

The COVID-19 drive-through collection site is an alternative location for people suspected of COVID-19 to give a specimen sample for a test; this is instead of going to the emergency department or another medical facility.

Who can go to the collection site?

The collection site is ONLY for pre-screened people who meet ALL of following criteria:

  • You called your doctor’s office and had a consultation
  • Based on your symptoms and other information you provided, your doctor determined that you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing, and ordered a test for you

No pets are allowed at the collection sites unless they are service animals.

How do I schedule an appointment at the collection site?

Scheduling an appointment at the collection site is preferred. Your doctor will give you the phone number to call to schedule an appointment at the collection site. The collection site hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, and Saturday 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM. These hours are subject to change.

What do I need to bring with me for my appointment?

  • Government-issued photo ID (examples: driver’s license, passport)
  • Insurance card (if you have one)
  • Physician order (prescription) for the COVID-19 test. Your doctor will tell you if you need to bring a paper order with you or if it will be submitted electronically.
  • Wear a cloth face covering. Visit gov/coronavirus for more information about cloth face coverings.

Where is the collection site located?

There are two Nuvance Health collection sites in New York. You can choose which site to go to when you call to schedule your appointment.

  • Dutchess Stadium:1500 NY-9D, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590. The entrance is located at the back end of the stadium parking lot.
  • Tech City: 300 Enterprise Drive, Kingston, NY 12401. The collection site is located in the parking lot.

What do I do when I get to the collection site?

  • Only two passengers per vehicle are permitted at the collection site.
  • You will be given an “Access Pass” after your ID and doctor order are verified. No specimen collection will be done without this pass.
  • It’s important for you to stay in your vehicle. You will be asked to hold up your ID and insurance card for a photograph.

How will you collect the specimen sample from me?

A trained healthcare provider will use a swab to collect a sample from inside your nose. This is not a blood test.

What do I do after I leave the collection site?

Drive home and limit your interactions with others during this time. Plan to self-quarantine for up to 14 days. You will receive self-quarantine guidelines at the collection site, and they can also be found at nuvancehealth.org/coronavirus.

You will receive an email or text message to register for GetWell Loop if you asked for access when you scheduled your collection site appointment. GetWell Loop is an online platform that provides daily health monitoring, videos, and other information you can reference at any time to help answer common questions and concerns about COVID-19. GetWell Loop is not a substitute for the personalized care your doctor can provide, and is just an added tool to help you stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have worsening symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, go to the nearest emergency department. Call the emergency department to tell them you are on your way, and that you have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the results.

How long will it take to get my test results back?

It may take up to 48 hours to get your test results back. Your doctor will notify you of the results. You can also access your results through the patient portal. If you are an existing Nuvance Health patient and already have an account, log onto MyHQ247 patient portal to view your medical records. If you do not have an account and would like to self-enroll, visit https://patients.healthquest.org/the-myhq247-patient-portal/ for more information.

What should I do if I don’t meet the criteria for the collection site, but I still have questions or concerns?

We understand how unsettling these times are as we receive updates on the spread of COVID-19. Stay informed with accurate facts from trusted sources to lessen some of your fears. Focus on facts, take a deep breath, and remember that we’re all in this together.

  • For general questions or concerns, call the Nuvance Health COVID-19 Community Hotline at 888-667-9262. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • For information regarding Connecticut, visit gov/coronavirus or call 211.
  • For information regarding New York, visit ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus or call 1-888-364-3065.
  • The CDC is updating information on its website daily. Stay informed by visiting gov/coronavirus.

Nuvance Health is keeping the communities informed on our website at nuvancehealth.org/coronavirus, and on social media @NuvanceHealth, or search for your hospital’s name. Nuvance Health hospitals include: Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Sharon Hospital in Connecticut; Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York

Self-Quarantine Patient Information

En español – Spanish
Em português – Portuguese

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a quarantined person needs to be isolated because they are at high risk of developing an infectious disease, or they have tested positive for an infectious disease. In this case, the infectious disease in the new coronavirus called COVID-19.

If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you are helping protect your family, friends, and the community from possible exposure to this contagious disease by following self-quarantine guidelines. Following self-quarantine guidelines is especially important to keep the most vulnerable people in your family and community safe, such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.

How long do I need to be in self-quarantine?

You will need to be in self-quarantine for 14 days. Your doctor will let you know what to do after the 14 days, which will depend on your individual test results and exposure risk.

How can I manage my health at home while I’m in self-quarantine?

  1. Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  2. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a facemask.
  3. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
  4. Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs, with disinfectant. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
  5. Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your doctor immediately.
  6. Cover your cough and sneezes.
  7. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  8. Get rest and stay hydrated.
  9. If you have a medical appointment, call the doctor’s office ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
  10. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.

I tested positive for COVID-19. How will I know if I can come out of self-quarantine?

Please call your doctor to talk about specific steps you need to take before you can stop self-quarantine. You should not stop self-quarantine until you speak with your doctor.

Here are general guidelines from the CDC for people with COVID-19 who have self-quarantined for 14 days:

If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

  • At least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

  • You received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

I tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered. What can I do to help others who are fighting the virus?

Nuvance Health is actively developing a convalescent plasma program to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. If a person has tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, they may be able to donate their blood plasma. This blood plasma contains antibodies that can be transferred to patients fighting the virus.

In order to donate, a person must have had a positive COVID-19 test, be symptom-free for at least 14 days with a repeat negative swab, or 28 days symptom-free with no need for a repeat swab.

Nuvance Health is presently recruiting volunteers. Potential donors can register by filling out an online questionnaire located at nuvancehealth.org/plasmadonorregistration, or call 888-410-1211 for more information.

Where can I go for more information?

We understand how unsettling these times are as we receive updates on the spread of COVID-19. Stay informed with accurate facts from trusted sources to lessen some of your fears. Focus on facts, take a deep breath, and remember that we’re all in this together.

  • For general questions or concerns, call the Nuvance Health COVID-19 Community Hotline at 888-667-9262. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • For information regarding Connecticut, visit gov/coronavirus or call 211.
  • For information regarding New York, visit ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus or call 1-888-364-3065.
  • The CDC is updating information on its website daily. Stay informed by visiting gov/coronavirus.

Nuvance Health is keeping the communities informed on our website at nuvancehealth.org/coronavirus, and on social media @NuvanceHealth, or search for your hospital’s name. Nuvance Health hospitals include: Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Sharon Hospital in Connecticut; Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York

Blood Plasma Donation Program

Nuvance Health has launched three Convalescent Plasma Donation Centers, giving people who have recovered from COVID-19 an opportunity to donate potentially life-saving plasma to critically ill patients fighting the virus.

The Plasma Donation Centers are located at three Nuvance Health hospitals: Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Norwalk Hospital and Danbury Hospital.

Nuvance Health has been using plasma for COVID-19 patients, working with the New York Blood Center and the American Red Cross to procure donations. Because the need is great, Nuvance Health has opened its own donor centers to meet the demands and to rapidly increase available plasma.

To qualify, donors must meet the following criteria as set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

COVID-19 confirmation with either positive swab or antibody test (antibody tests are expected but not currently available in our centers).

14-day, symptom-free interval with a repeat negative swab.

28-day, symptom-free interval with NO need for a repeat swab.

To donate, interested individuals must first register at www.nuvancehealth.org/plasmadonorregistration. A staff member will contact the prospective candidates for further instruction. Priority is now being given to donors getting closer to the 28-day, symptom-free interval.

Once selected, participants will donate their blood plasma at one of the three Nuvance locations. The process is very similar to a blood transfusion.

The plasma will then be used for cases at all Nuvance Health hospitals, as well as stored for future use.

Blood Plasma FAQs

By James Nitzkorski, MD, FACS

The use of blood plasma to treat ill patients has been around for more than a century, dating back to the 1890s to combat a variety of diseases from measles, polio, SARS, MERS, Ebola and the H1N1 flu.

With the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 months, if not a year, away, medical institutions throughout the country have started trials to determine if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, when given to those that are severely ill, might be effective in decreasing the severity or duration of the disease. While it is not known whether this treatment will be effective, preliminary reports from China have suggested improved results may be achieved from this therapy.

To increase access to this treatment option, Nuvance Health opened convalescent plasma donation centers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital.

Here are answers to some common questions about blood plasma therapy.

What is plasma therapy?

Plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood that contains antibodies. Antibodies can fight infection.  When someone recovers from a COVID-19 infection, they do so, in part, because the antibodies can “neutralize” the virus and make someone better.

That plasma is taken from a donor, prepared and then given to a critically-ill, COVID-19 patient. The process is very similar to a blood transfusion.

Does plasma therapy work? 

This therapy has been successfully used in the past for other viral diseases, so we are hopeful this treatment for COVID-19 will yield good results.  It is too early to know what impact this will have on COVID-19 disease progression.

Who can donate?

The criteria for donation have been set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and continues to evolve. Currently, the criteria for donation, in addition to passing the basic transfusion donation screening questions, are as follows:

  • COVID-19 confirmation with either positive swab OR antibody test
  • 14-day, symptom-free interval with a repeat negative swab
  • 28-day, symptom free interval with NO need for repeat swab

At this time, we are prioritizing donors who have had a positive COVID-19 test, and who have not had symptoms for 28 days.

Where can I donate?

Nuvance Health:  If you are close to Poughkeepsie, Danbury, or Norwalk and would like to donate at one of our hospital sites, please register at the following website: www.nuvancehealth.org/plasmadonorregistration. A staff member will contact you. Priority is being given to contact donors getting closer to the 28-day, symptom-free interval.

Other plasma donation options include:

I am pretty sure I had COVID-19, but I couldn’t get a test. Can I still donate?

Only if you have an antibody test that proves infection.  Currently, our plasma program is not able to arrange antibody testing for possible donors.  If you had a positive antibody test you are welcome to register on our website as having a “positive COVID test”

I’ve registered and filled out the Nuvance Health questionnaire. I still haven’t heard back.

We are prioritizing calls to possible donors who have had a positive test and who are approaching the 28-day, symptom free window.

How often can I donate? 

Nuvance donors may be able to donate at least weekly. Ongoing donation is not required.

I have a family member/loved one admitted to a hospital outside of the Nuvance Health network. Can I donate directly to them?

Nuvance Health is unable to transfer plasma to hospitals outside of our network. You can contact the hospital where the patient is admitted and discuss if this is possible at their location.

I have a family member/loved one admitted to a Nuvance hospital. Can my donation be given directly to them?

No. We cannot direct specific donors to a specific recipient. Plasma must be matched to a recipient based on blood type. Also, plasma may not be the right option for every patient. The decision to use plasma therapy is based on federal regulation, availability and patient specific criteria set by the treating teams.

The curve seems to be flattening. Is plasma still needed?

Yes, we still need plasma. Excess plasma can be safely stored in the event a “second wave” occurs.

Who is coordinating this team?

Our Convalescent Plasma Team consists of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, research teams, blood bank personnel and support personnel from across our entire network to help coordinate this treatment. We have been working tirelessly since early March to develop this program.

Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?

Prospective candidates can call 888-410-1211 for more information.