QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT RICHARDS, ELECTED OFFICIALS TO HEALTH OFFICIALS: WE NEED MORE COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN OUR“TESTING DESERTS”
(December 23, 2021 at 3:30pm)
QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and several of the borough’s current and incoming legislators today sent a letter to New York State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett, New York City Health Commissioner Dave A Chokshi, and NYC COVID-19 Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Ted Long urging them to significantly increase the number of COVID-19 testing sites across Queens, especially in traditionally underserved neighborhoods that have become known as “Testing Deserts” due to their lack of a sufficient number of sites.
The officials write: “A shortage of sites has forced people to line up for hours in the cold as they wait to be seen at the limited number of public sites in operation. We believe that these long lines have deterred many people from getting tested and have potentially exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing many individuals who may be infected with COVID-19 to go undiagnosed. We refer to this problem across the borough, as ‘Testing Deserts,’ due to the lack of public testing access in those communities.”
The letter continues: “To rectify this testing shortage, and to prevent Queens from once again becoming the ‘epicenter of the epicenter’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to swiftly and significantly increase the number of COVID-19 testing sites in Testing Desert neighborhoods throughout the borough.”
New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, Council Member and Incoming Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assembly Members Edward C. Braunstein, Catalina Cruz, Jessica González-Rojas and Catherine Nolan, and City Council Member Robert F. Holden joined Borough President Richards in signing the letter, which was also signed by six City Council Members-elect from Queens.
Read the full letter here.
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