Rapid identification of infectious individuals is essential to minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in communities. In early 2021, Brentwood and its surrounding communities were identified by DOH as a COVID-19 hotspot. In order to bolster preventative health measures for the high percentage of underinsured and uninsured residents, Good Samaritan Hospital (Catholic Health) partnered with the town of Islip-Brentwood to increase testing capabilities.
The hospital and their community partners set up a drive-through testing site in Brentwood to increase testing and tracing of COVID-19 and provide health and wellness education throughout the pandemic. The Town of Islip–Brentwood COVID-19 testing site was created and maintained through partnerships with Catholic Health Good Samaritan physician assistants, nurses and pathology; Town of Islip; Town of Islip Community Development Agency; and Brentwood Rotary Club.
The testing site provided 2,131 tests through May 2021, of which 248 detected COVID-19, an overall positivity rate of 12%. Data show that 41% of tests were for Brentwood residents, 20% for Bay Shore and 9% for Central Islip — the closest neighboring towns. Of the overall number of 2,131, 10% (210 people) continued to come to the site for repeat testing to keep themselves and others safe throughout the pandemic.
The Brentwood testing site also assisted in efforts to reduce the positivity rate of COVID-19. In March 2021, the positivity rate was 15%. Through education, testing and tracing in May 2021 the rate was reduced to 2%. The number of tests decreased due to more residents being tested and traced, education of guidelines and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
For more information, contact Georgeine Bellando, manager, public and community relations, at 631.376.4104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.