Lines for rapid COVID-19 testing at Heckscher State Park in...

Lines for rapid COVID-19 testing at Heckscher State Park in East Islip. Credit: James Carbone

Long Island was hit hard by the winter surge of coronavirus cases and the omicron variant.

Residents struggled to find COVID-19 testing appointments or stood in long lines at urgent care centers to try to get a test. The CityMD urgent care chain had temporarily shut some locations in part because they were inundated with people asking for tests, the company said.

In addition to urgent care centers and medical offices, more COVID-19 testing sites opened around the region. For a starting point, New York State offered this searchable tool to find a test site near you. The White House launched COVIDTests.gov, a website where people from every home in the U.S. can order four at-home COVID-19 tests per household to have them delivered by mail.

Take a look at some other suggestions to book an appointment or find a COVID-19 test below.

We’ll update this guide as information updates.

Try finding an appointment at a state-run site.

The state’s online scheduling portal for COVID-19 tests offers appointments at 13 testing sites, two of which are on Long Island. Appointments at these sites can only be made at appointments.bioreference.com/nystatecovidtesting — not by calling the sites directly.

  • IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge will have appointments Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kennedy Memorial Park in Hempstead will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also announced testing sites would open at college campuses throughout the state. They’ll be open for walk-ins and appointments from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and can accommodate about 225 appointments and 50 walk-ins per day, the state said.

  • The SUNY Stony Brook community testing site is located at 1500 Development Dr. in Stony Brook. You can make an appointment here.
  • Farmingdale State College's community testing site is at Nold Hall at 2350 Broadhollow Rd. in Farmingdale. Appointments can be made here.

Check what the counties are offering. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced three testing sites that operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Baseline Health and Reef Technologies will administer rapid antigen COVID-19 tests at the following sites:

  • Heckscher State Park, Field 8 at 1 Heckscher State Parkway in East Islip. It operates Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a testing capacity of up to 1,000 tests a day.
  • Red Creek Park at 102 Old Riverhead Road in Hampton Bays. It operates Mondays only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a testing capacity of up to 500 tests a day.
  • Cathedral Pines County Park at 116 Yaphank Middle Island Road in Middle Island. It operates Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a testing capacity of up to 500 tests per day.

Check your local pharmacy. Several pharmacies offer different types of COVID-19 tests and many require making appointments ahead of time. You can look online for testing appointments at places like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.

Look in New York City. New York City-run test sites are open to anyone regardless of residency. You can find one with the resources at nyc.gov/covidtest, which include mobile, pop-up and rapid-testing sites.

Take a look at some options for at-home tests. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency-use authorization for several at-home COVID-19 tests, some of which require a prescription or may be over the counter. The agency lists the molecular tests and antigen tests that have received EUA on its website.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the FDA says any test could result in false negatives or positives and recommends seeking care from health care professionals if you test negative and have symptoms.

Here are some options that may be found in drugstores or online, although some tests may be out of stock due to availability and high demand:

  • Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test: This kit comes with two tests and is taken by nasal swabs in people ages 15 and up — or 2 years and up with swabs collected by an adult, according to the company website. The website indicates both tests are meant for testing twice within three days, with at least 36 hours in between them. Results appear in 15 minutes. It may be found in stores like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid or Walmart.
  • Quidel QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test: This antigen test can be used by self-collecting a nasal swab by people 14 and up, or 2 and older if collected by an adult, according to the company website. It’s designed to be used within six days of symptoms appearing and includes two tests to use over three days. Results appear within 10 minutes, the website states. It may be found in stores like CVS, Walgreens or Walmart.
  • ACON Laboratories Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test: This over-the-counter antigen test also uses a nasal swab and can be used in people ages 14 and up, or 2 and up if collected by an adult. Results appear in 15 minutes, the website states. This kit may be found at CVS or Walgreens.

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