A pop-up Covid-19 testing facility is scheduled to open on Thursday, April 30 at the Hudson River Health Care Kraus Family Health Center at 330 Meetinghouse Lane in Southampton, adjacent to Southampton Hospital.
For many weeks, South Fork residents and government officials have been advocating for increased availability of testing in East Hampton and Southampton Towns.
The non-profit Hamptons Health Society has raised $20,000 in local donations to help fund the operation of the testing facility and provide free testing to any uninsured resident in need of financial assistance.
“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,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “Lacking financial resources should not be a barrier to testing and thanks to the generosity of the Hamptons Health Society it won’t be.”
“Limited access to testing has been a concern for South Fork officials and residents alike,” agreed East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. “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.”
HRHCare is providing ‘hotspot’ Covid-19 testing at many of its health centers throughout the county, which are predominantly located in communities that have been hit heard by the pandemic. HRHCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center that manages all of Suffolk County’s community health centers.
“We are pleased to bring pop-up testing to Southampton,” said Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Hudson River Health Care. “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.”
When Southampton Mayor Jesse Warren learned that an additional site could open at the Southampton HRHCare if funds were made available, he reached out to the Hamptons Health Society for help.
The Hamptons Health Society had recently been instrumental in raising money to procure ventilators for the hospital and helped acquire personal protective equipment for local health care workers.
“This team effort is making it possible for those without means to get tested for free,” said Mr. Warren. “I am grateful for the generous financial support from the community and the advocacy of all the South Fork elected leaders that helped make this local testing facility a reality.”
The South Fork testing site will operate every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only.
Anyone with shortness of breath, a persistent cough, temperature above 100.5 degrees, or who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should call 845.553.8030 to have their symptoms triaged by a nurse to determine if they qualify for testing.
No one will be turned away due to insurance or immigration status.
The medical office inside HRHCare Southampton remains open for information and referral on Covid-19. HRHCare is also offering telemedicine, with extended hours.
Appointments can be made by calling 1-844-HRH-CARE, texting “telemed” to 21000, or by visiting www.hrhcare.org. Telemedicine visits can be through video chat or a regular phone call. New patients are welcome. Current patients can schedule telemedicine visits with their regular doctor.
The new testing site is supported by several entities. The property where the testing is occurring is owned by Southampton Hospital. Traffic control and security is being provided by the Southampton Village Police Department. Suffolk County is providing educational materials. The testing site is also supported by Southampton and East Hampton Towns.
“Access to testing continues to be a key weapon in the fight against Covid-19,” says South Fork State Assemblyman Fred Thiele. “The establishment of a drive-through 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.”