As part of an awareness campaign, Suffolk County is trying to provide residents with updated information on testing locations, including sites in pharmacies that are free of charge.
Suffolk officials said this was in response to U.S. Centers for Disease Control Guidelines which were inexplicably changed Aug. 25 to say that individuals do not necessarily need to get tested for COVID-19 after coming in contact with someone who has tested positive. New York State officials have also spoken out against the change, arguing it flies in the face of what we currently understand about COVID-19.
Such sites are listed below:
Town of Brookhaven and East End
- CVS Pharmacy, 6221 Route 25A, Wading River, NY 11792
- CVS Pharmacy, 496 County Road 111 Building C, Manorville, NY 11949
- Rite Aid, 803 Montauk Hwy Unit D, Shirley, NY
- CVS Pharmacy, 29 Havenwood Drive, Shirley NY 11967
- Walgreens, 1580 Route 112, Medford, NY 11763
- CVS Pharmacy, 470 West Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
- CVS Pharmacy, 1710 Route 112, Coram, NY 11727
- CVS Pharmacy, 2315 Middle Country Road, Centereach, NY 11720
- Rite Aid, 229 Independence Plaza, Selden, NY
- CVS Pharmacy, 729 Portion Road, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
- Stony Brook Drive Through Testing Site, 100 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11794
Town of Smithtown
- CVS Pharmacy, 977 Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11725
- CVS Pharmacy, 111 Terry Road, Smithtown, NY 11787
Town of Huntington and Western Suffolk
- CVS Pharmacy, 520 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731
- CVS Pharmacy, 2000 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport, NY 11731
- CVS Pharmacy, 111 Depot Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746
- CVS Pharmacy, 107 South Country Road, Bellport, NY 11713
- CVS Pharmacy, 450 Main Street, Farmingdale, NY 11735
- CVS Pharmacy, Candlewood Road and 5th Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717
- CVS Pharmacy, 311 Main Street, Center Moriches, NY 11934
- CVS Pharmacy, 831 Connetquot Avenue, Islip Terrace, NY 11752
- CVS Pharmacy, 105 Montauk Highway, West Sayville, NY 11782
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said during a press conference Aug. 26 that New York would not adhere to the new guidance. He instead proclaimed that the CDC was following the bidding of President Donald Trump (R). He called the new health policy “political propaganda.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said in a release that the new CDC guidance is inconsistent with what has already helped stop the spread of COVID-19.
“From day one, we have prioritized access to testing, especially in our hard hit communities,” Bellone said in a release. “In light of the puzzling CDC guidance released this week, I am proud to stand with Governor Cuomo and others in the medical community to encourage our residents to continue to get tested. If we want to avoid a second wave and keep our infection rate below one percent, testing must be a top priority.”
For their part, federal health officials have told reporters the CDC’s change in testing policy was not based on politics and the change was made by CDC themselves. However, Trump has publicly said that he believed the reason the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase was because the U.S. has increased the number of tests it conducts.
Suffolk Commissioner of Health Services Dr. Gregson Pigott said testing is the best way to prevent a new wave of the virus come the end of summer.
“A robust testing program allows us to identify as many positive cases as possible, isolate those individuals and quarantine their close contacts, therefore slowing and containing the spread of COVID-19,” Pigott said in a release. “In order to protect public health and help prevent a second wave in the fall, we will continue to recommend everyone who is exposed to the virus gets tested.”
Additional testing sites can be found by typing in a zip code at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you