Town of Huntington opens new COVID-19 test site in Greenlawn
The Town of Huntington opened a new COVID-19 testing site in Greenlawn Monday because of a rise in cases.
The community testing center is a partnership between Northwell Health, the Suffolk Department of Health and the town. The site is located
at the Dolan Family Health Center on Pulaski Road.
Staff at the site will be able to administer 150 tests a day.
The test takes about 24 hours to get results, but officials at the site say it's the gold standard by medical experts, most efficient in accurately detecting the virus.
The town is trying to avoid overwhelming nearby Huntington Hospital, which reached capacity during the height of the pandemic.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in just a few weeks, cases have risen from 30 to over 230 people in Suffolk County hospitals, and the number of new cases is continuing to go up in Huntington Station.
"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.
Town officials think testing, identifying, treating and quarantining can minimize a need for hospitalizations.
"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," said Dr. William Gehrhardt, of Northwell Health.
The site offers free testing, but residents are required to make an appointment by calling the Northwell Health COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-7369.
Those who get tested have the option of lining up in person or having the test administered while in their car.
Dr. Robert Levy, one of the physician partners at AFC Urgent Care, says their Farmingdale location on Monday saw the highest positivity rate in patients since May. He believes Long Island will need more testing capabilities over the next month or so.
"Like many physicians, I fear that the numbers will really begin to skyrocket over the next month or so into Christmas and New Year’s," he told News 12.