Rice Urges NYS to Reopen Mass Testing and Open Mobile Testing Sites on Long Island
Letter calls for the reopening of mass testing sites once located at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University and the opening of mobile testing sites in communities of color
GARDEN CITY, NY – With COVID-19 cases surging across New York State, U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul requesting the reopening of the Jones Beach and Stony Brook University mass testing sites and the opening of mobile testing sites to serve communities of color on Long Island.
The text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Governor Hochul,
I write today to urge you to expand New York State’s COVID-19 testing capacity on Long Island by reopening the mass testing sites once located at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University. At the height of the pandemic, these sites served as safe, reliable, and convenient testing locations for my constituents. As of Thursday, December 16th, Long Island’s COVID-19 seven-day positivity rate has surged past seven percent-- the highest positivity rate since January-- demonstrating the need for additional testing capacity.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen how communities of color have suffered the worst effects of the pandemic, including here on Long Island. These communities often have less access to public transportation and many residents don’t have access to a car, rendering a drive-thru testing site useless. To ensure the health and safety of everyone we serve, especially those who work on the frontlines of the pandemic, I also request that you open mobile testing sites in communities of color on Long Island.
As we approach the holiday season and a possible surge in both the delta and omicron variants of COVID-19, it is vital that we use every weapon in our arsenal to fight this pandemic. Pharmacies, urgent care centers, and other medical facilities on Long Island are overwhelmed with people looking for COVID-19 tests. My office has received numerous reports from concerned constituents of packed waiting rooms, pharmacies sold out of rapid tests, and PCR test results taking five to seven days to return. Reinstating the mass state testing and opening mobile testing sites in communities of color on Long Island would provide immediate relief to the thousands of people seeking the care they are struggling to find right now.
I thank you in advance for your steadfast leadership in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. I have directed my District Office to offer any assistance in finding suitable testing sites if the State moves forward with this request. Should you have any concerns or questions, please contact Kevin Devlin at (516) 739-3008 or email@example.com.