In a letter to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on April 10, Legislator Bridget Fleming urged that the County seek to increase the availability of testing for COVID-19.
“I thank County Executive Steve Bellone for his leadership and applaud his administration’s efforts during this unprecedented emergency our nation faces. Suffolk County is one of the worst affected in the country, and because of County Executive Steve Bellone’s leadership we have administered more than 40,000 tests, ramped up the 311 information line, delivered more than 1 million pieces of PPE, and set up mobile testing sites and a temporary hospital, as well as implementing numerous measures to mitigate the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Legislator Fleming. “But the effectiveness of these extraordinary steps will be hampered if testing is not made more widely available to ensure the containment of this virus.”
Within the letter Fleming stated “Had our Department of Health and our medical community had access to adequate testing, so that we may have undertaken surveillance testing and tracking of known contacts before individuals exhibited symptoms, I believe much suffering could have been averted. Even now, the criteria for testing remains extraordinarily strict, and have not changed since the virus was first detected on March 8.”
Legislator Fleming concluded the letter with, “whether the increase in testing capability must be achieved through the federal Defense Procurement Act, or whether other means are available to require the production of adequate supplies, I urge that we act to do all that we can to advance the cause. I offer my full support as a member of the Legislature to join with you in whatever means may be identified to highlight the dire circumstance presented by the limits of testing, and to find solutions.”