April 13, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A new testing facility will open at Queens Hospital in Jamaica by the end of the week as part of an effort to expand the city’s COVID-19 testing capabilities across all five boroughs, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Sunday.
The facility, located at 82-68 164th St., is one of five new testing sites that will open across the city. The sites selected are largely in low-income and minority areas–which have been hit hard by the coronavirus.
The other sites are in East New York, Brooklyn; Morrisania in The Bronx; Harlem in Manhattan; and Clifton in Staten Island.
De Blasio said the city is now shifting its resources to directly address at-risk communities. The city up until this point has been heavily focused on testing first responders, health care workers and infected patients.
“We see a clear disparity in the impact, who’s been hit hardest, communities of color, lower-income communities, immigrant communities, folks who are vulnerable already because they haven’t had the health care they needed and deserve throughout their life,” de Blasio said at a press briefing Sunday.
“This virus is not the great equalizer. It does not, in the end, have the same impact everywhere,” he said.
De Blasio said the testing will involve a priority system focused on those who are most vulnerable but did not expand on the specifics.
The mayor said that he wants all sites to be operational by the end of the week but that is contingent on when the testing supplies arrive.
“It may not be the same exact start date in each location, and it may alter a bit depending on when the testing comes in,” he said.