What to Know
- New coronavirus tests have sprung up in Long Island and New Jersey as the scientific community continues to do what it can to screen and diagnose COVID-19 cases as quickly and as efficiently as possible in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus
- Three Long Island urgent care locations are offering a test that is capable of delivering positive results of the coronavirus in as little as five minutes
- Meanwhile in New Jersey, Rutgers University launched a genetic testing service for the novel coronavirus allowing for thousands of samples to be analyzed daily through saliva collection
New coronavirus tests have sprung up in Long Island and New Jersey as the scientific community continues to do what it can to screen and diagnose COVID-19 cases as quickly and as efficiently as possible in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
Three Long Island urgent care locations are offering a test that is capable of delivering positive results of the coronavirus in as little as five minutes -- the first in the nation to provide the fastest available molecular point-of-care test.
American Family Care, the largest privately owned operator of urgent care and accessible primary care facilities in the United States, is the first health care provider in the nation to provide the rapid test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which delivers positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.
The three Long Island AFC Urgent Care locations began offering the rapid molecular testing as part of full examinations on Tuesday and will be testing patients on a regular daily basis starting Wednesday. The locations are:
- AFC Urgent Care Farmingdale: Bi-County Shopping Center, 1037 Fulton Street, Farmingdale, NY 11735; (631) 983-4578, www.afcurgentcare.com/farmingdale/
- AFC Urgent Care East Meadow: 2310 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554; (516) 531-6492, www.afcurgentcare.com/east-meadow/
- AFC Urgent Care West Islip: 125 Sunrise Highway, West Islip, NY 11795 (631) 400-3430, www.afcurgentcare.com/west-islip
However, the tests are only for symptomatic patients. Patients will be seen on a first come first serve basis. Only a limited number of tests can be performed at each location per day. AFC Urgent Care estimates up to 300 tests in total will be provided each day at these three locations combined.
AFC Urgent Care is also considering setting up exams and testing by appointment only. Patients are asked to visit location websites for up-to-date information and contact information.
"We are in the midst of a major health crisis, a pandemic, and testing provides an important tool for stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. With Abbott’s new molecular test, we have the capability of examining 2,000 patients each week at our three locations,” Dr. Robert S. Levy, of American Family Care, said in a statement. “Having results quickly provides important peace of mind for those who test negative and for those who test positive then know to immediately self-quarantine or seek further medical care.”
Patients who are concerned that they may have coronavirus but are unsure of their symptoms are urged to call AFC Urgent Care to schedule an appointment to not overcrowd the locations. In some instances, patients may be pre-screened via a telehealth visit to determine if a novel coronavirus test is necessary.
The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the point-of-care test on Friday, the company said in a statement.
Abbot Laboratories -- a Lake Bluff, Illinois, company makes diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and medicines -- said it plans to ramp up manufacturing so it can deliver 50,000 tests per day. This is the second Abbott test for the coronavirus to be launched. Between the two, the company expects to produce about 5 million tests per month, according to a company statement.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Rutgers University launched a genetic testing service for the novel coronavirus allowing for thousands of samples to be analyzed daily.
Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics has launched a test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is using its automation experience and infrastructure to test as many as tens of thousands of samples daily.
Additionally, RUCDR has also submitted an emergency use authorization request for a saliva collection method that will allow for broader population screening.
This effort will provide information that allows people who test positive to self-quarantine and, in turn, limit the spread of the virus.
The test is based on a Nobel Prize-winning laboratory technique that makes millions of copies of the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleic acid (in this case RNA) in a sample. Testing a nasal or throat swab sample determines whether someone is infected, with results available to providers within three days. Saliva testing would be a new development and would allow testing without the need of a medical provider to take the sample. These alternate options will allow access of testing and screening to the most needed population.
The test is currently available to the RWJBarnabas Health network, which has partnered with Rutgers University, and includes Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University Hospital in Newark and many other facilities including several county health departments.
The rapid deployment of the test throughout the state is a consequence of a partnership between RUCDR and Accurate Diagnostic Labs (ADL). RUCDR and ADL have a long-standing relationship where ADL provides reference lab services for RUCDR, which facilitates clinical trials that RUCDR supports.