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Dr. Hanley tells Task Force island testing at his office could be delayed

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Oct 28, 2020

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

At its Monday, Oct. 19 meeting, the Pine Island Task Force suffered a setback on island testing as Dr. Daniel Hanley reported that he might not be ready as soon as he’d originally thought.

“I have bad news on my end,” said Hanley. “Apparently, Abbott is experiencing delays and is no longer accepting new customers — we are already approved, so that’s not the barrier. My representative is going to contact us again in a few weeks with a testing update, but the overall gist that we got is that pre-Thanksgiving testing is iffy.

“I will research other options regarding testing, but did make the commitment to Abbott, so it’s a tough situation all around.”

Task Force member Katey Largay, RN MPH, expressed concern that many people are not being directed by their physician to get tested, even when presenting with symptoms of COVID-19.

Former WINK-TV News anchor Jim McLaughlin, another Task Force member, suggested it could be a matter of timing, saying it’s possible by the time someone becomes symptomatic, gets tested and receives results, the virus may have already taken its leave.

Task Force leader Eric McCrea agreed, saying, “I am aware of people who have been given that reason — that the time frame makes the test irrelevant. In the meantime, what they should be telling them is to act like they have it.”

Task Force member Ellen Ballard expressed a two-fold concern about returning snowbirds, in that if and when they head south, there is the potential to bring the virus to the island, and also the ongoing unkindness toward our northern neighbors.

The group as a whole decided to post on the Pine Island Pandemic Community Action Facebook page their gratitude to all businesses taking precautions to stem the spread of the virus by sanitization, social distancing, encouraging patrons to continue to wear face masks, and, of course, wearing masks themselves.