Upstate’s COVID-19 Hotline Opens
Inside look at March 2020 hotline headquarters
On March 14, 2020 Upstate Medical University launched the COVID-19 Hotline in response to the overwhelming community need for guidance around issues related to the virus.
This start-up is a joint effort of the Upstate New York Poison Center and The Upstate Triage and Transfer Center.
The essential function of the hotline is to answer questions from the general public about: testing and symptoms; precautions to reduce the risk of spread and contact; community resources on transportation to testing sites and food accessibility.
Additionally, the line aims to help reduce unnecessary emergency department and physician office visits to ease the pressure on our health care system and to provide support to the county departments of health.
To date, Upstate’s COVID-19 hotline has managed more than 16,000 calls since inception, averaging 300 calls per day. Although most calls are from Onondaga county, calls have been logged from almost all of our 54-county coverage area of New York State. The line also acts as a resource on the services offered in surrounding counties.
The line is staffed primarily by registered nurses employed by Upstate with health educators and other support staff also on board.
AUGUST 2020 UPDATE: The hotline continues and the new hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public.