April 22, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Six new COVID-19 testing sites are opening to serve residents of public housing in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
Three testing sites will open in community health centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx on Friday to serve NYCHA residents and three will open next week directly inside NYCHA developments, including the Woodside Houses.
De Blasio said that he will ensure the most heavily impacted communities — such as public housing residents — get priority as more testing resources become available.
“Everyone in New York City has been hit hard by this pandemic — everyone — but the residents of NYCHA have been hit particularly hard,” he said.
The testing facilities will be run by staffers from the city’s public hospital system, de Blasio said.
The news follows an announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday that the state is partnering with Ready Responders, an at-home health care provider, to launch a similar program this week.
Eight NYCHA developments, including Long Island City’s Queensbridge Houses and the Rockaways’ Red Fern Houses and Hammel Houses, will get onsite COVID-19 testing and health services through the state program.
Both the City and State will deliver face coverings and cloth masks, as well as hand sanitizer to public housing residents as well.
City officials are especially focused on helping seniors in public housing.
The City is expanding its door-to-door meal distribution program to all NYCHA buildings with a high concentration of senior residents and spending $5 million to deliver free tablets and internet service to 10,000 senior residents so they can stay connected to relatives and loved ones.
“One of the most painful human realities has been grandparents who can’t see their grandchildren or their children, seniors who used to get visits of one kind or another that kept their spirits up and got them help they needed — a lot of them feel particularly isolated right now,” de Blasio said. “We want to make it a little easier.”