Photo: Denise Civiletti

(Updated: Nov. 21, 5 a.m.) A COVID testing site in the Riverhead Central School District tested more than 150 people today.

The site was set up in a gym at Riverhead High School. During the school day, high school students, faculty and staff were tested. After 2:30 p.m. students, faculty and staff from other schools in the district as well as those from parochial and private schools in the district, were invited to get tested, Interim Superintendent Christine Tona said.

The high school site will operate again on Monday, Tona said. The district plans to have a testing site at Pulaski Street School on Tuesday, she said. Parents of elementary school children will be given the opportunity to bring their children for testing at the middle school Tuesday afternoon from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m.

As of 3:30 today, everyone who was tested for the virus had a negative result, Tona said.

Photo: Denise Civiletti

Health workers who are are staffing the site are using rapid tests at the site. Results are available in 15 minutes.

Tona said during an informational Zoom meeting with parents yesterday that the district hopes increased testing will demonstrate that the testing positivity rate within the district is lower than current data indicate. Most people who have been getting tested generally have symptoms or reason to believe they were exposed to COVID, Tona said.

People reporting symptoms of COVID and anyone with a fever will not be tested at the school site, Tona said. Only one person was turned away today, according to one of the nurses conducting intake screening this afternoon.

Tona had a test herself this morning. It was negative.

Interim Superintendent Christine Tona gets tested for COVID-19 today at Riverhead High School. Courtesy photo.

The county plans to stand up a drive-through testing site at the county center in Riverside, where free tests will be offered.

Suffolk County health officials are working to increase testing in Riverhead to get a better picture of the COVID positivity rate in the community. State health department data indicate that Riverhead is at risk of designation as a micro-cluster zone, according to officials. The designation would mean additional restrictions on business and social activities and possible school closures.

Editor’s note: After publication of this article, the school district changed the location of the Nov. 24 testing site from Riverhead Middle School to Pulaski Street School. The article was amended to reflect the change.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.