3 Long Island urgent care centers among first in the nation to use quick COVID-19 tests
Long Island is one of the first places in the nation to get a new, quick test for COVID-19 that gives results in minutes.
The test, created by Abbott Labs, was granted emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration last week.
The test is now being used in three American Family Care urgent care facilities in East Meadow, West Islip and Farmingdale. The test consists of a nasal swab.
At each location, only people with symptoms are being tested, but so far no appointments are necessary. That could change in the future.
It has been so crowded at the Farmingdale location that the wait time for check-in has been as long as 2.5 hours.
Still, with previous testing that took up to more than a week to process at an outside lab, doctors say this rapid test is a game-changer.
"This is a fantastic tool from a public health standpoint," says Dr. Robert Levy. "The fact that we can now test so many more patients, the fact that we can tell them right away if they're positive, I suspect that we'll see a much greater compliance rate with quarantine requests, which should increase our ability to tamp down on the pandemic and flatten the curve."