JONES BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – More widespread coronavirus testing began Wednesday on Long Island with the opening of drive-thru testing at Stony Brook University, and also private urgent care facilities.
A seemingly endless stream of sick patients, masked and waiting in their cars, were looking for test results to confirm their fears, reported CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.READ MORE: NYPD Investigating Citywide Bank Robbery Pattern; Man Accused Of Stealing More Than $4,000 From 5 Banks
“Last night I developed a fever of 100.4. I had some shaking, chills,” said a health care worker.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211
That worker is among the first to be tested at ProHEALTH Urgent Care in Jericho, launching day one of its on-site testing.
“We are seeing people, patients quite sick and 100, 101, fever and a cough, plus or minus contacts, direct contacts,” said Dr. Bonnie Simmons, medical director of Pro-HEALTH Urgent Care.
ProHEALTH’s existing patients are allowed to drive thru. Others can book appointments on the website.
“This is huge, I refer to this as turning on the lights,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, Chief of Infectious Diseases at ProHEALTH.
Dr. Griffin says prioritization is given based on symptoms and contacts, but not a rigid criteria.READ MORE: SPECIAL COVERAGE: 'AIDS Walk New York: Live At Home' On CBSN New York
“We have to be doctors. We can’t just follow a list of boxes. We’ve got to make clinical judgments, and when you see something that seems wrong, you’ve got to say ‘I’m going to step outside of this strict paradigm,'” Dr. Griffin said.
- Ask Dr. Max Your Questions
- Myths Vs. Truths
- Talking To Children About Anxiety
- CDC Latest Updates
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
That’s a shift from just days ago, when the state dictated only those with direct contact with a COVID-19 confirmed patient were given access to limited tests.
Now, even at New York’s drive-thru testing site at Jones Beach, anyone can make an appointment through the state’s COVID hotline 1-(888)-364-3065, but those with symptoms and known contacts will move to the front of the line.
Hundreds were processed the first day.
“We have good capacity, we are running very well. We’ve actually increased the number that we are processing per hour,” said George Gorman of the New York State Parks Department.
Hospitals like Good Samaritan in West Islip are also testing on site for symptomatic patients in triage tents. Around the region, the ability to get tested is easing, with the wait for results ranging from 2-5 days.
For now, there is no available test to determine if you’ve already had COVID-19 and are potentially immune. That could happen in weeks.MORE NEWS: NYPD Releases Video Of Vandalism Suspect After Crucifix Toppled, Flag Burned At Brooklyn Church
ProHEALTH is also testing at its Little Neck urgent care, and will open additional testing sites as needed.