The first drive-through coronavirus test site on Long Island and the second in New York State opened Tuesday at Jones Beach State Park.
Plans are also in the works to open such sites in Suffolk County, Staten Island, and Rockland County, the governor added. ProHEALTH urgent care is also reportedly opening a drive-through testing site in Jericho on Wednesday. Drive-through test sites allow medics to swab large volumes of people suspected of having COVD-19 without overburdening existing healthcare facilities, where coronavirus can spread in waiting rooms.
“We’ll open today in Nassau County a drive-through testing office,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a news conference Tuesday in Albany. He first said Sunday that such a plan for Jones Beach was in the works. He cautioned that between 55,000 and more than 100,000 people could need hospitalization for coronavirus, which is more than the state’s hospital’s can handle.
The first coronavirus test site in the Empire State previously opened in New Rochelle, which officials said has seen the largest concentration of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the nation. Drive-through testing sites have also opened in other states nationwide as the pandemic grows.
The development comes as coronavirus cases in Nassau County rose to 131, Suffolk hit 84, and there were 1,374 cases statewide, including 12 deaths.
The new drive-through testing site is coming online as testing capacity in the state is expected to increase from several hundred per day to up to 6,000 per day this week. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said drive-through tests will be prioritized for people in quarantine, those with underlying medical issues, and first responders.
For information on how to make an appointment at the drive-through testing site, health officials say to call the New York State Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
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