From June 15 to June 19, free antibody testing from Northwell Health will be available at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“If you haven’t gotten tested yet, please do,” said City of Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke at a special Glen Cove City Council meeting on June 9. “It’s free of charge by Northwell, a very reputable hospital that will do it. Now is the time to take advantage of it."
Antibody tests, according to the Center for Disease Control, checks a person’s blood by searching for antibodies, a protein that can help provide immunity from getting a disease again. Presence of antibodies could indicate if the person has had a past infection with the virus that causes Covid-19.
It’s important to note, however, that depending on the time when a person was infected and the timing of the test, antibodies may not be found in a person that is infected with the virus at the time of the test. Therefore, the CDC states, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone with a current infection of Covid-19.
Instead, for a diagnosis of current infection with Covid-19, a person should receive a viral test that identifies the virus in samples from a person’s respiratory system, such as a swab from inside one’s nose.
Debbie Salas-Lopez, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Transformation at Northwell Health said that the hospital system is working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the state’s faith-based initiative to do antibody testing in under-served communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
State diagnostics, antibody surveys and comprehensive surveys of newly hospitalized patients admitted for Covid-19 show that communities of color have been most impacted by Covid-19.
Glen Cove, according to census data, has a population made up of 54.3 percent white, 27.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, 8.7 percent black or African American, 5 percent Asian, 2.9 percent of two or more races and 0.7 percent American Indian or Alaska Native.
Throughout the pandemic, Glen Cove has seen 892 positive cases, according to data from the Nassau County Department of Information Technology. This data does not, however, represent active cases of Covid-19.
“Northwell Health is committed to providing access to testing in our most affected communities as we believe that this is an important step in keeping our communities healthy and preventing the spread of the virus,” Salas-Lopez said. “Doing the testing in churches with the support of faith-based leaders has been an important component to our success. Thus far, we have tested over 24,000 church and community members.”
Peter Moran, an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove, said he sent an email to Northwell Health stating that the church would be happy to host the Covid-19 antibody testing. “They said that they’d love to use the church,” Moran said.
The testing is available for anyone looking to get tested. “I’m going to get tested,” Moran said. “We would just love everyone to come. If you are nervous, just come. The church is a very open church. We welcome everyone.”
First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove is located at 7 North Lane. To make an appointment to be tested, call (833) 422-7369. Although making an appointment is encouraged, walk-ins are also accepted.