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Town Closes Covid-19 Testing Site

Tue, 01/31/2023 - 09:13
Testing will no longer happen at the East Hampton Town Center for Humanity on Stephen Hand's Path.
Durell Godfrey

The Covid-19 and influenza testing center on Stephen Hand's Path has been closed by East Hampton Town "due to lack of demand," the town has announced.

Located at the East Hampton Town Center for Humanity, it was operating only on Wednesdays for the last several weeks until the decision was made to end the service.

Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said Tuesday that there were weeks when only five or six people in total would show up for tests. It went up to a high of 23 around Thanksgiving and 22 around Christmas.

"That's good news, I think. Right?" he said. "The positivity rates were in some cases pretty high, but the numbers were statistically insignificant" because so few tests were being given. "We've also been making home tests available, thousands of free home tests that we've given out at Town Hall, so people are doing that in the convenience of their own home."

In all, the supervisor said, the town administered some 23,000 tests at the Stephen Hand's Path facility.

Covid-19 continues to be an ongoing concern in the region, with three deaths in Suffolk County attributed to it on Friday, the most recent reporting date for fatalities. The seven-day average of positive cases per 100,000 residents on Long Island has declined slightly in recent days, from 15.8 on Friday to 15.56 on Saturday and 14.95 on Sunday.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now rates the county's community infection level as "medium." Low infection levels are designated at below 10 cases per 100,000 residents, while high levels are considered 20 or above.

"If you are at high risk of getting very sick," the agency recommends, "wear a high-quality mask or respirator when indoors in public."

Mr. Van Scoyoc said the town will reinstate testing again if needed, "but hopefully we won't have to. We're prepared to do what we need to do to protect public health and safety, and that's been our mantra all along."

Those who need PCR tests can still access them at several local health care facilities. For example, at East Hampton Family Medicine on Pantigo Place tests cost $50, and patients can get their results within two days. The Northwell Health GoHealth Urgent Care facility in the Bridgehampton Commons is also offering the tests, and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, which has testing at Parrish Memorial Hall every day except Thursday and Sunday, can be phoned at 631-396-6400 for appointments.

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