Drive-thru COVID-19 rapid tests giving Long Island patients results in minutes

COVID-19 News and Information
JERICHO, Nassau County (WABC) -- ProHEALTH launched its drive-thru COVID-19 rapid testing at six locations throughout Long Island and New York City on Thursday as cases continue to skyrocket across the New York area.

In Suffolk County alone, Executive Steve Bellone said he's expecting roughly 1,100 new cases with a positivity rate around 6%, numbers not seen since the spring.

It is the Thanksgiving bump Governor Andrew Cuomo so ominously predicted, each car at the site with a family whose story sounds painfully similar to the next -- a relative home from college or a family gathering.
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Officials on Long Island are sounding the alarm as COVID-19 cases are surging in numbers like we haven't seen since the spring.


"My daughter came back positive yesterday, so we were in the house with her during Thanksgiving," Massapequa resident Michael Wheat said. "And here we are, first time getting tested."

For the Deroko family, of Oyster Bay, it was a relative in the military who came home, then tested positive.

"I worry about the rest of my family, that everybody turns out alright," 89-year-old Nicholas Deroko said.

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And if the length of the line was any indication, the worry is growing.

ProHEALTH is the latest urgent care facility to expand its testing sites, opening up to rapid and PCR testing.

Patients can just register online from their cars, drive up, and get a swab on the spot.

"We are testing hundreds of patients a day in each location," Dr. Bonnie Simmons said.

In Hicksville, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino got the first test at the newly re-opened Urgent Way. Unlike the others, t had closed during the pandemic...

"But now, since we're seeing an increase in the COVID-19 testing, and there's been a shortage of testing centers and there's been a huge influx of COVID-19 cases, we're now opening it earlier than expected," Dr. Faika Khan said.

There's no shortage of new testing sites, but with COVID rates now up a full percentage point in Nassau County since Wednesday, there's no shortage of frustration either.

"We just want this over with," Wheat said.

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ProHEALTH is the first health care system in the region to offer drive-thru rapid tests, which are available at all of ProHEALTH's drive-thru locations in Fort Hamilton, Gramercy Park, Jericho, Little Neck, Riverhead, and Yorkville.

The company also offers rapid testing for in-clinic visits at all 27 of its New York area locations; and, as part of Optum Tri-State, 29 Riverside Urgent Care locations spread across New Jersey and Connecticut.

If a patient needs a PCR test for travel or any other reason, ProHEALTH also offers PCR tests inside the urgent care facilities.

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