A COVID-19 testing site will open in East Hampton on Friday, May 15.
“The local availability of COVID-19 diagnostic testing will help us to stop the spread of the virus within our community and move us closer to a safe reopening of our economy,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in a press release.
Testing, which is available by appointment, will take place at the Pantigo Place ball field parking lot in East Hampton. The efforts to bring testing to East Hampton Town were spearheaded by Supervisor Van Scoyoc, East Hampton Village Deputy Mayor Barbara Borsack and the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, who is funding the project initially. Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) will provide the diagnostic testing.
“I appreciate Deputy Mayor Borsack’s assistance, and Hudson River Health Care’s willingness to get this site up and running for our community and the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation who will be providing some of the initial funding,” Supervisor Van Scoyoc said.
Testing will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“I’ve been very pleased to work closely with Supervisor Van Scoyoc to help facilitate this testing site with the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for our community,” relayed Mayor Borsack, who is also on the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation and Southampton Hospital Association boards.
Testing will be available to those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath, a persistent cough, temperature above 100.5 degrees, those that have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, and workers deemed eligible for tests by New York State, including health care workers, first responders, and “essential employees” who directly interact with the public, like food service workers, delivery persons, and human services providers. To enquire about an appointment, contact 845-553-8030.
Insurance will be accepted, and the diagnostic test will be offered at no cost to those who do not have insurance and cannot afford the cost. A bilingual staff will be on hand. Testing will be administered to those eligible regardless of immigration status.
Additionally, Suffolk County is currently hiring contact tracers. “The Contact Tracer will use a web-based client resource management (CRM) platform to call all contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, determine exposure, assess symptoms, refer for testing according to established protocols, and provide them with instructions for isolation or quarantine,” the job description states. “Contact Tracers will maintain ongoing communication with contacts to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine and determine social support needs and/or handle reporting of issues that arise. Contact Tracers are required to follow set scripts and adhere to policies and procedures provided by NYS. They will also comply with Department training regarding confidential information related to personal information.” For more information, visit careers-pcgus.icims.com.
“Contact tracing, which Suffolk County is ramping up, will identify community members exposed to positive COVID-19 cases so that they may also quarantine and help stop the virus’s spread,” Supervisor Van Scoyoc explained.
In addition to the East Hampton site, Hudson River Health Care is also providing testing at the Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) Kraus Family Health Center in Southampton on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Testing at the Southampton HRHCare site is also by appointment only. To enquire about an appointment, call 845-553-8030.
“We are pleased to bring pop-up testing to East Hampton,” said Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Hudson River Health Care. “As we continue to actively adapt our response to COVID-19, pop-up testing remains important for the added protection of patients and staff. We will continue expanding our response to the pandemic until we prevail, for the sake of our patients and our communities.”
As of May 11, there are 335,395 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York State, with 41,124 in Suffolk County. On the East End, there are 890 confirmed cases in Southampton, 614 in Riverhead, 395 in Southold, 260 in East Hampton, and 7 on Shelter Island.
Supervisor Van Scoyoc noted that eventually the testing program could broaden to include antibody tests, which determines whether an individual may have already had the virus. The program expansion would occur if those particular tests become more reliable, as well as more widely available.
“The staff and Trustees of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation are pleased to support this public/private initiative in making COVID-19 testing available in our community,” said Sheila Rogers, director of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation. The Foundation is accepting donations in support of continued testing.
Donations may be sent to the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation at 200 Pantigo Place, Suite M, East Hampton, NY 11937, or at www.easthamptonhealthcare.org.