Free Tests, Courtesy of Community Donations
Southampton, NY – A pop-up COVID-19 testing facility is scheduled to open on Thursday, April 30th at the Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) Kraus Family Health Center in Southampton, adjacent to Southampton Hospital in Southampton Village. For many weeks, South Fork residents and government officials have been advocating for increased availability of testing in the region, which includes East Hampton and Southampton Towns. Thanks to a generous donation from Hamptons Health Society, a local not-for-profit (501-c-3), that need is about to be met.
Hamptons Health Society has raised $20,000 in local donations in order to help fund the operation of the testing facility and provide free testing to any uninsured resident in need of financial assistance. HRHCare is testing at most of its health centers throughout the county. Including Southampton, Riverhead, and other sites opening soon, HRHCare is also operating 12 pop-up testing sites throughout its network.
HRHCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that manages all of Suffolk County’s community health centers. 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 Southampton Mayor Jesse 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.”
A representative of the Hamptons Health Society stressed the importance of testing in helping protect our community from the serious threat of COVID-19.
The South Fork testing site will operate every Tuesday and Thursday from 10AM to 3PM by appointment only. Anyone with shortness of breath, a persistent cough, temperature above 100.5 degrees, or having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should call to inquire about a test by calling (845) 553-8030. HRHCare Southampton is located at 330 Meeting House Lane in Southampton Village. No one will be turned away due to insurance or immigration status.
HRHCare Southampton remains open for information and referral on COVID-19. HRHCare is also offering telemedicine, with extended hours available. 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 in various ways 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.
NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele stated, “Access to testing continues to be a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19. 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.”
“This public private partnership will allow health officials to continue to expand testing, which is so critical to containing the virus and reopening the economy. I am grateful for the generous support of the Hamptons Health Society that will allow testing to reach more individuals throughout our community, including, importantly, those who may not otherwise be able to afford to be tested, and I applaud Mayor Warren for organizing the initiative,” said Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming.
“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. 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,” said Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
“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,” said East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.
“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.”
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