A Covid-19 testing site has opened at the Dolan Family Health Center, town, county and Northwell Health officials announced Tuesday.
The goal is to make testing more available to more people in or near hot spots such as Huntington Station,which has shown the highest rate of infection in town since the beginning of the epidemic.
Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of Huntington Hospital, Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Dr. William Gehrhardt, medical director of the Dolan center, spoke about the testing and need for cooperation amongst agencies as fears grow about the recent increase in infections and hospitalizations.
Numbers were already rising and are expected to continue to grow after many Americans traveled to be with others for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It is clear now that we are in that second wave, and the task at hand, the job at hand now is to do everything we can to get these numbers back under control and to save lives, and we know from our experience. A critical component of that is testing,” Bellone said.
“We are waiting to see what Thanksgiving effects are going to be but we’re not waiting to prepare,” he said.
Tests will be done by appointment only, with results expected with about two days, officials said. To schedule a test, call Northwell Health’s COVID-19 Hotline at 833-422-7369.
Across Suffolk County, the number of hospitalized has risen in the last few weeks from about 30 to more than 240, Bellone said. Huntington Hospital currently has 25 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and eight new admissions over the last 24 hours, Northwell reported.
The tests were provided by the state to Suffolk County, and Northwell is providing the staff to administer tests and assess results. The center is able to conduct about 150 tests a day, through Dec. 18. Both Fitterman and Bellone said there are enough tests to meet demand, and they could obtain more if needed.
“The goal here, obviously, is to bring down the number of patients who go into emergency rooms to get admitted, bring down the number of deaths, you can do that with knowledge, and I think we are going in the right direction now,” Gehrhardt said.
The Dolan center is located at 284 East Pulaski Road, Greenlawn.