SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in New York metropolitan area: the view from a major urgent care provider

Ann Epidemiol. 2022 Oct:74:31-40. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2022.05.006. Epub 2022 Jun 2.


Purpose: Tracking severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing and positivity trends is crucial for understanding the trajectory of the pandemic. We describe demographic and clinical characteristics, testing, and positivity rates for SARS-CoV-2 among 2.8 million patients evaluated at an urgent care provider.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients receiving a diagnostic or serologic test for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1, 2020 and July 20, 2021 at 115 CityMD locations in the New York metropolitan area. Temporal trends in SARS-CoV-2 positivity by diagnostic and serologic tests stratified by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and borough of residence were assessed.

Results: During the study period, 6.1 million COVID diagnostic and serological tests were performed on 2.8 million individuals. Testing levels were higher among 20-29-year-old, non-Hispanic White, and female patients compared with other groups. About 35% were repeat testers. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction positivity was higher in non-Hispanic Black (7.9%), Hispanic (8.2%), and Native American (8.2%) compared to non-Hispanic White (5.7%) patients. Overall seropositivity was estimated to be 22.1% (95% confidence interval: 22.0-22.2) and was highest among 10-14 year olds (27.9%), and non-Hispanic Black (26.0%) and Hispanic (31.0%) testers.

Conclusion: Urgent care centers can provide broad access to diagnostic testing and critical evaluation for ambulatory patients during pandemics, especially in population-dense, urban epicenters. Urgent care center electronic medical records data can provide in-depth surveillance during pandemics complementary to citywide health department data sources.

Keywords: COVID-19 health inequities; Covid-19 trends; Electronic medical records; Urgent Care Center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Young Adult