ELIH Foundation board members donate new diagnostic system that can quickly test for COVID-19

A pair of Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation board members have donated a GeneXpert diagnostic system — which has been adapted to rapidly test for COVID-19 — to the Greenport hospital.

Peter and Erica Harold donated the “vital piece of equipment to aid Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital in the fight against coronavirus,” the hospital announced Monday.

The diagnostic system typically delivers a rapid flu diagnosis in 30 minutes. Cepheid, the manufacturer of the equipment, has received FDA approval to test for COVID-19 on the same equipment with a 45-minute turnaround for results.

“Our entire hospital staff is working tirelessly to ensure the safety of their patients, their families, their community and themselves,” said Paul Connor, the hospital’s chief administrative officer, in a statement. “This generous donation from Peter and Erica is going to play an enormous role in aiding our staff to win the fight against this virus.”

The system has a higher test capacity that allows for up to six tests to be performed every 45 minutes as opposed to the current two-chamber equipment that performs two tests at once. The new equipment, once its in place, will allow the hospital to not only enhance its COVID-19 response but better prepare for future outbreaks, the hospital said in a press release.

“The hospital has received an overwhelming amount of support from the local community in response to the pandemic. No matter how prepared SBELIH be for this battle, the main source of support for the 70-bed hospital has and always will be the local community,” the press release said.

Additional information on how to support SBELIH and the ELIH Foundation can be found by calling 631-477-5164 or emailing [email protected].

Last week SBELIH announced Shari Hymes, a respiratory therapist, purchased a $10,000 High Velocity Nasal Insufflation system, a mask-free treatment that can be used on some COVID-19 patients who are having difficulty breathing.