In response to the growing number of COVID-19 case numbers, Governor Andrew Cuomo has authorized a drive-through testing facility to open on Staten Island, the first facility of its kind in New York City. The facility will open tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020. At this time, Borough President James Oddo and the Staten Island delegation are working closely with the Office of the Governor and Northwell Health to facilitate swab testing for COVID-19 to those who meet the necessary criteria. The testing is open to New York City Residents by appointment only from 11am to 7 pm tomorrow and from 7 am to 7 pm beginning Friday at South Beach Psych Center (777 Seaview Avenue).
Anyone who feels they are at risk should contact the NYS DOH Hotline at 888-364-3065 to determine if and how to be tested. If it is determined an individual needs to be tested, they will receive notice directly from NYS DOH. An appointment must be made in order to receive a test. Individuals who show up without an appointment will be turned away.
The State and Northwell Health are seeking the help of qualified retired health professionals—including Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Physicians—to volunteer to staff the mobile testing unit. If you are a retired health professional and looking to help with the crisis at hand, please consider volunteering. Shifts will be from 7 am to 1 pm and 1 pm to 7 pm.
"This testing site is going to be a huge sigh of relief for Staten Islanders with concerns of COVID-19. We thank Governor Cuomo and Staten Island’s elected officials who have once again stepped up for the borough when it needed it most," said Brahim Ardolic, MD, Executive Director of Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health. "Staten Island University Hospital is happy to assist in this effort wherever we can. So far, over 120 medical professionals from the hospital have volunteered to help staff the testing site.”
Potential volunteers should fill out the following online form to be considered for a volunteer position: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/retired-health-professional. Volunteers will be prompted to enter their Name, Address, Phone number, New York State Certification Number, Information on last role, and Availability.
According to NYS DOH, drive-through mobile testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people. To that end, the guidance for receiving a COVID-19 test is unchanged from the guidance provided at any other medical facility.
Until New York State is at full capacity for testing, the Department of Health has issued guidance to ensure that New York State prioritizes the resources to meet the most urgent public health need. Testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider when:
- An individual has come within proximate contact (same classroom, office, or gatherings) of another person known to be positive; or
- An individual has traveled to a country that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and shows symptoms of illness; or
- An individual is quarantined (mandatory or precautionary) and has shown symptoms of COVID-19 illness; or
- An individual is symptomatic and has not tested positive for any other infection; or
- Other cases where the facts and circumstances warrant as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state and local department of health officials.
On Sunday, March 15, 2020, the entire Staten Island delegation made an announcement to encourage Staten Islanders to re-evaluate their social distancing behaviors, including to: Stay home as much as possible; keep 6 feet of distance from others in public; and minimize in-person social contact in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.