Hundreds line up for rapid COVID-19 tests, leaving many turned away
Massive lines added up Thursday at three sites offering rapid COVID-19 testing.
Around 300 Long Island residents waited at American Family Care in West Islip Thursday, hoping to get a COVID-19 test that offers results in a matter of minutes. Demand was so high that by 9 a.m., all three locations administering the test had already run out of spots.
Allie Krill-Morales, of Brightwaters, was among the hundreds, and says she is high risk because she has had open heart surgery. She says social distancing guidelines were not being observed by everyone in line.
"People are coming here with no gloves, no mask, coughing, and this is how you're spreading it," she says.
Krill-Morales was tested after waiting for eight hours, and results came back negative.
American Family Care has two other locations in East Meadow and Farmingdale. As of now, it is the only health care provider on Long Island offering the rapid test.
Co-owner Lou Dionisio says only 100 people can be seen at each facility per day, and from now on, more will be done to control the crowds.
"We are going out to people on line, keeping them 6 feet apart, and when we register them they don't come in the building, they stay in their own cars and then we call them in one by one," says Dionisio.
The quick booking of spots left some at-risk residents without an immediate option.
"I'm not too thrilled about it. I'm 63, I have diabetes, I just came down with a cough, and I only have one lung. So I'm in a prime category of wanting to get checked," says Rich Sagendorf, of East Islip.
Patients must be showing symptoms to qualify for the rapid test.