Watch CBS News

Northwell Health Rolls Out Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites On Hard-Hit Long Island -- In Roslyn And Riverhead

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Long Island has the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in New York at over 16%. In response, the state's largest health care provider is rolling out more testing sites.

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis visited one of the locations in Nassau County on Tuesday.

Due to the spike in cases, big testing tents are back, a scene Long Island hasn't seen in a long time.

"It's scary again," said Rani Baki of Manhasset.

READ MOREWith COVID-19 Positivity Rate Soaring, Long Island Getting Proactive To Beat Back The Surge

But yet a welcome sight for Baki, who's concerned he has COVID, but couldn't find a test.

"All of the other urgent care centers are like fully booked," Baki said.

"I went to three urgent cares and I wasn't able to get into any of them," Manhasset resident Meghan Clarke added.

Both, however, came across the new Northwell Health drive-thru appointment-only testing site at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn. They were given a self-administered PCR test, which, with a barcode system and an app, delivers next-day results.

"Everything was perfect.. I came in, I actually ... they helped me up front to get an appointment and it took all of three minutes," Clarke said.


In addition to the Roslyn location, there is a new drive-thru site in Riverhead, plus existing sites in New Hyde Park and Bohemia.

"These centers are the best place to get tested. We need to leave the emergency department and urgent care centers for those who need to seek medical care," said Dr. Matthew Harris, a pediatric emergency physician the medical director for Northwell Health's COVID-19 vaccine program.

READ MOREHere's What You Need To Know When Paying Big Money For Quicker COVID-19 Test Results

Harris said along with an explosion of the highly contagious Omicron variant, there has been a spike in kids with COVID.

"The majority of children who are admitted right now are under the age of 5 and do not currently qualify for vaccine," Harris said.


Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling expressed frustration that 80% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

"People that we have on vents pretty much all are unvaccinated," Dowling said.

He said COVID only makes up about 12% of hospital volume, reminding people facilities are not overwhelmed and to seek routine medical care.

"The last thing you want to be doing is delaying care and having a worse situation later," Dowling said.

READ MORENoticing Unusually High Prices For At-Home COVID Test Kits? New York Attorney General Wants To Know About Them

So, while testing tents may remind you of 2020, he says we're in a much better place.

"I've walked the floors of the hospitals back in April and May of last year and I walked them today. Huge difference. We've come a long way," Dowling said.

Right now, 500 tests can be administered each day at the Roslyn site and 350 per day at the location in Riverhead. Northwell said it's hoping to expand capacity over time.

The Northwell testing lab has the capacity to run up to 100,000 tests per day. If you want to get a test, the Northwell sites are only open during the week. To make an appointment, please click here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.