Town Welcomes New Virus Test Site

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino with other elected officials and UrgentWay staff, including Dr. Faika Khan, to his left. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

UrgentWay opens office in Hicksville

To prove how easy and painless the process was, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino took the nasal swab test in front of a group of reporters and videographers on an early December day.

He was the “first patient” at UrgentWay, an urgent care group which reopened its Hicksville office to handle the increased demand for COVID-19 tests.

“I will get a test right now in front of you to encourage you to do the same and to show you it’s not painful, but it could save your life,” the supervisor had said before sitting down to get swabbed.

“And it’s free,” clinic primary care physician Dr. Faika Khan stated.

“I never appreciated being scraped so much,” Saladino said to laughter.

“But that’s for a good and noble cause,” Khan rejoined.

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino gets swabbed by Monika Malik from UrgentWay. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

“The reality is, the numbers on COVID-19 are getting worse, and it’s very concerning,” Saladino said at a ceremony to reopen the center. “So to have a facility where residents can come and conveniently get tested, another facility, will reduce lines for testing. And that’s a good thing for residents, especially as COVID-19 numbers begin to spike again. We’re seeing that second wave. We’re very concerned.”

UrgentWay, which runs care centers in Manhattan, the Bronx and Hempstead, had closed its Hicksville office at the beginning of the pandemic. Dr. Khan said it had done more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests at its other facilities and the Hicksville clinic could handle 100 tests per day.

Saladino called Urgent Way “a tremendous ally in the fight against COVID-19. One of the best tools for fighting this pandemic is a rigorous and extensive network of testing sites.”

He added, “In the arsenal, it’s critical to have masks, it’s critical to have information and especially test results because that leads to the quarantining and people can stay separated and those are the best protections as we begin this second wave of this horrendous pandemic.”

Saladino noted that people have reported waiting on lines for hours to get a test.

“So we need more facilities to open up,” Saladino said. “Facilities with highly-qualified medical personnel, truly caring people. The kind of people here running UrgentWay.”

“It’s a difficult time, but we must all take precautionary measures to keep ourselves and our family safe,” Khan said. “Every action counts when it comes to protecting ourselves and our loved ones from coronavirus. Stay home. Wear masks. And if you’re out, please maintain social distancing.”

The clinic will provide PCR, rapid and antibody testing.

“It is recommended that we should get PCR as opposed to the rapid [antigen] test,” Khan observed, adding that the rapid test “has got a higher sensitivity, so it’s a good test to rule in [a positive case], but not to rule out. So if you are negative, you are not truly negative. The PCR test takes longer [to get the results], but it’s the more accurate way to rule out a patient with COVID-19.”

Saladino was joined by Councilwoman Vicki Walsh and Receiver of Taxes Jeffrey Pravato. He singled out John Posner of Sunrise Labs, and Khan said the relationship with the labs has been simplified and made “effortless.”

“We really appreciate your opening,” Saladino told Khan. “You are a shining light at holiday time. You will continue to have our encouragement and help. You’re helping every resident. You’re reducing the lines that are out there.”

Khan said her specialty is primary care but she also specializes in urgent care services.

The clinic is located at 120 Bethpage Rd., Suite 309. Testing hours are Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.urgentway.com or call 516-252-3903 for more information or to make an appointment.

Frank Rizzo
Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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