On Thursday, April 30, a pop-up COVID-19 testing facility is scheduled to open at the Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) Kraus Family Health Center in Southampton.
After learning that a testing facility could open at Southampton HRHCare if funding was secured, Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren turned to the Hamptons Health Society to help make it happen. Mayor Warren had already worked with the local not-for-profit (501-c-3) on an extremely successful GoFundMe campaign, with funding being utilized to procure ventilators for the hospital, personal protective equipment for those on the frontline, and masks for residents. Hamptons Health Society hosted another fruitful fundraising drive that allowed the non-profit to contribute $20,000 towards the cost of operation.
“There’s a big demand for testing. The sooner everyone can get tested, the sooner we can return back to some semblance of normal. Ultimately, the goal is really to get everyone tested – not just the East End, but across New York State,” Mayor Warren told Hamptons.com. “We are also working on ways to find antibody testing. This is going to be viral testing where they take a nasal swab, they take the sample and then the results are back in about 72 hours.”
Mayor Warren continued, “We had reached out to HRH who does other testing sites across Suffolk County and HRH was great to work with. They did tell us that it would cost a certain amount of money each day to administer the testing. It would cost $55 per person to get a test, if they didn’t have health insurance. They were eager to set up a site in Southampton Village, we really wanted them, and so we contacted Hamptons Health Society, Dr. Michalos, who we’ve been working with very closely to procure a lot of PPE, face masks, shields, gowns, things like that. If anybody doesn’t have health insurance or doesn’t have the means, Hamptons Health Society will pay for the cost of the test.”
Testing, which is by appointment only, will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those experiencing shortness of breath, a persistent cough, temperature above 100.5 degrees, or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should inquire about being tested by calling (845) 553-8030. The Southampton site is open to all, not just HRHCare patients.
“Access to testing continues to be a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19,” NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele stated in a press release about the site. “The establishment of a drive-thru site in Southampton is another step forward as we continue to ramp up the necessary testing required to protect the public health and to re-open our economy. My thanks to the Hamptons Health Society for again providing generous support to improve health care in our community.”
The testing site is being championed by multiple local entities, as the property is owned by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, the Southampton Village Police Department is providing security and traffic control, and Suffolk County is providing educational materials. Both Southampton and East Hampton Towns are supporting the initiative as well.
“Limited access to testing has been a concern for South Fork officials and residents alike. Having convenient and cost-free testing for those of limited means is particularly important. I am so grateful to our generous friends and neighbors who have come together to make this happen,” East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in the press release.
As of April 29, there are 295,106 confirmed cases in New York State, with 32,724 in Suffolk County. On the East End, there are 622 confirmed cases in Southampton, 425 in Riverhead, 316 in Southold, 176 in East Hampton, and 7 on Shelter Island.
“Testing is a critical component in combating COVID-19. Anyone who may have the virus needs to know ASAP so they can protect themselves and others. That is why it is so important to have a local site,” Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman noted in the press release. “Lacking financial resources should not be a barrier to testing and thanks to the generosity of the Hamptons Health Society it won’t be. I am also thankful to Mayor Warren for helping get this off the ground.”
“We are pleased to bring pop-up testing to Southampton,” Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Hudson River Health Care, said in the press release. “Pop-up testing is a critical part of our community response against COVID-19 and is important for the added protection of patients and staff. We will continue expanding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic until we prevail, for the sake of our patients and our communities.”
The Southampton HRHCare outpost will remain open to provide COVID-19 information and referrals. Telemedicine, via video chat or a regular phone call, is also an option. To speak with a doctor, call 1-844-HRH-CARE, text “telemed” to 21000, or visit www.hrhcare.org. New patients are welcome.
“We’re very fortunate to have testing set up inside of the Village,” Mayor Warren concluded. “That’s the next step to getting back to some semblance of normal. Once we can identify who has Coronavirus, who’s tested positive, those people can quarantine and those who don’t have Coronavirus can return to some sort of normal life.”
Mayor Warren has launched a COVID-19 Viral Testing Fund GoFundMe on behalf of The Hamptons Health Society. To support the effort, visit www.gofundme.com.
HRHCare Southampton is located at 330 Meeting House Lane in Southampton Village. Fore more information, visit www.hrhcare.org.