NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As more and more people look to get tested for COVID-19, there are some new testing sites on Long Island and in New York City to meet demand.
There is also concern about contact tracing and whether or not it’s working, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Thursday.
There are six new drive-thru and walk-thru coronavirus rapid testing sites run by ProHEALTH Urgent Care.
“We saw our largest volume of testing just about a day before … day or two before Thanksgiving and obviously now,” said Dr. Bonnie Simmons, the chair of urgent care Optum Tri-State.
To keep up, the sites opened in Fort Hamilton, Gramercy Park, Jericho, Little Neck, Riverhead and Yorkville. Patients register electronically in their car or online.
If they use a drive-thru, they must roll down their window to get swabbed. They will then receive the results in minutes, health officials said.
“If it takes a week for those results to come back it’s basically like not having a test,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, chief of infectious disease at ProHEALTH.
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Griffin explained the testing procedure in detail.
“Swab just the front of your nose. No more of those brain biopsies. Swab the front of your nose, 15 seconds on each side,” he said.
The specimen then goes, “into a tube with fluid. The fluid is swirled around. It’s placed on our dish, on our stick,” one worker said.
Once it sits for 15 minutes, it is placed into a machine.
Doctors say many who have the virus are asymptomatic. They don’t realize they’re sick and continue about their lives, furthering the spread. So testing, even if you don’t have symptoms, is extremely important.
“Do your own contact tracing immediately, with their friends and family. I think it’s really working,” Simmons said.
But others would disagree, since there are some people who don’t want to cooperate.
According to a Suffolk County spokesman, 7,300 people have tested positive since Nov. 13. Of those, 144 refused to isolate, provide contacts or otherwise cooperate with the contact tracer.
“I cannot stress enough again, the concern about small indoor gatherings,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
With more holiday gatherings coming up, including some of which that may include strangers, people who don’t have contact info for to give, there’s a renewed plea to get tested, not to gather, and to cooperate with tracing.