First Kids Only COVID-19 Testing Center Opens On Long Island

Steve Scott
April 02, 2020 - 10:19 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The first kids only COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Selden in Suffolk County. 

Pediatric emergency physician Dr. Christina Johns with PM Pediatrics talked to anchor Steve Scott on Wednesday about why this facility is necessary.

Why do we need kids only COVID-19 testing centers?

Well, one thing that we know for sure as pediatricians, that children are not small adults. And so, whenever they are involved in medical care of any type, we take their different developmental level into account. That’s really important in any medical experience, but certainly right now when times are so unusual, we are very, very careful to be gentle with how we swab a child. We are careful and explain the procedure according to their developmental level, and what they understand to make sure it’s a positive experience not just for them but for their families, too.

With the sad news of an infant dying in Connecticut, we are reminded that COVID-19 is not just an illness of the elderly or infirmed. 

That is correct. COVID-19 can affect anybody. The early data certainly indicates that children seem to be getting the disease less severely, but do they get it and can they get it very severely to the point where it could be fatal? Yes, indeed.

Now, this facility in Selden on Long Island. Tell us how parents can learn more about it, which children might qualify and how an appointment could be arranged.

We want to be prudent and reasonable about the testing process and to make sure we are being responsible about resources, as well. We have patients undergo a very quick screening process to make sure they’re appropriate to be tested in the first place. That can be done either by visiting one of our PM Pediatrics offices in the area or by going on our telehealth application online at PMPediatricsanywhere.com and doing a quick virtual visit. We can very, very quickly screen patients and decide whether or not it makes the best sense for them to head to our testing center to be tested and go from there. It’s a simple process, but it’s one that makes sense and is responsible for resource allocation.

Now to be clear, we don’t want all parents bringing their children to this facility in Selden unless they’ve been pre-screened, right?

That’s correct. We’ve really gotta be responsible about who we’re testing. We know that right now more widespread testing is becoming available, but we’re not there yet. We want to make sure that we are testing prudently, enough so that we know what’s going on in our communities and that we can identify who is getting sick, but we also know that not every single child needs to be tested. This is a way that we can really strike that happy medium and make sure that we’re testing the right kids.

What are the age ranges we’re looking at for testing at this kids only facility on Long Island?

We will test children and young adults from birth up through age 26. 

This facility is located at 239 Middle Country Road, the Selden Plaza Shopping County in Selden, Suffolk County.