NEW YORK (PIX11) — More COVID-19 testing sites have been set up across New York City in efforts to ease long lines amid an outbreak fueled by the omicron variant. The city broke its single-day COVID case record for a fifth consecutive day, with Mayor Bill de Blasio reporting nearly 11,000 cases in the five boroughs alone on Wednesday.
In addition to the 119 city-run testing sites already open, the federal government opened up three sites in Queens. A testing site at Travers Park in Jackson Heights first opened Wednesday. Two more sites, one at Queens Valley Playground in Kew Gardens Hills and another at Helen Marshall Playground in East Elmhurst, began testing Thursday morning.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday he wanted to see 100 federal sites set up across the city. “I’m sending a letter to FEMA today,” he said, displaying it at the mayor’s press briefing Wednesday, “asking them for a hundred new mobile testing locations. We need these locations across the city. Now, today, they said, they’re sending six, that is not close to enough, given the magnitude of the crisis and what we need. “
In addition to the federal and city-run sites, the mayor announced Binax COVID testing kits will be handed out at five locations across the boroughs beginning 9 a.m. Thursday.
Each site is expected to distribute 2,000 kits.
- Bronx: Soundview – Corner of Morrison Ave and Westchester Ave, 10472
- Brooklyn: Bensonhurst – Corner of 18th Ave and 65th St, 11204
- Manhattan: Masaryk Towers – 75, Columbia Street, 10002
- Queens: Corona – Corner of 37th Ave and Junction Blvd, 11368
- Staten Island: Conference House Park – Corner of Hylan Blvd and Satterlee St, Staten Island, NY 10307
Another change the city announced on Wednesday is that it’s also extending hours for its 119 Covid testing sites to 12 hours per day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Gov. Kathy Hochul also announced two test sites are coming to Manhattan’s busiest tourist spots beginning Monday. One at Times Square and the other at Grand Central Terminal. Both sites will be open seven days a week, and no appointments are necessary.