Supervisor Don Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board have announced, in collaboration with Northwell Health, a new initiative that is centered on keeping essential workers safe. The initiative expands existing COVID-19 testing programs to include free-of-charge polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for essential workers as they are constantly in contact with members of the community. This initiative has been made possible through CARES Act funding that provided the Town of Hempstead a $133 million grant to alleviate some of the adverse effects of the pandemic. Supervisor Clavin made the announcement today at the Stop & Shop in Baldwin, and was joined by members of the Hempstead Town Board, local labor leaders and essential workers.
“We continue to thank Senator Schumer for the integral role he played in securing this funding that made the launch of this initiative and so many others possible,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin. “Testing is a crucial part of the process to ensure people are remaining safe, which is why it was a priority of ours to expand testing options for our essential workers. They work to keep our community safe so we must do the same for them.”
PCR testing is of vital importance for essential workers as the test confirms whether the COVID-19 virus is active within the test recipient. Testing centers will take place in three locations within the Town that will be announced at a later date. On a daily basis, Northwell Health will staff each location and make sure the facility is properly cleaned prior to testing and once testing is completed.
“During the height of the crisis, our essential workers were the brave individuals facing the circumstances to get to work every day so we could all live our lives,” said Deb Salas-Lopez, MD, Northwell’s senior vice president for community and population health. “These are the grocery store and child care workers, pharmacists, nursing home and school staff, as well as the frontline nurses, doctors and other health care workers. We owe them a debt of gratitude for what they’ve sacrificed, and to do what we can to help keep them safe.”
“As an organization that represents thousands of essential workers throughout multiple industries, we have witnessed the commitment and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make during this challenging time to keep our communities working despite personal risks.” Said John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW. “They have earned our utmost respect and this testing is a recognition as well as an applause to their courage.”
All essential workers who work and live within the Town of Hempstead are encouraged to utilize these services to keep themselves as well as the communities they serve safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19. The list of eligible essential workers includes, but is not limited to, those working in grocery stores, pharmacies, nursing homes and health care workers as well as schools.
Testing for essential workers begins on November 9th at the Island Park Courthouse, located at 127 Long Beach Road in Island Park (November 9th to November 13th and November 16th to November 20th from 10AM to 6PM). Other locations and dates will be announced in the near future. To learn more about the testing locations and to register to take a test, please call (516) 821-2500.
Clavin made the announcement today along with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll.
“The essential workers of America's largest township kept us moving throughout the pandemic, especially during the trying early months," said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. "I am proud to join with Supervisor Don Clavin and my colleagues on the Town Board to provide free testing for these hardworking employees.”
“These workers have truly earned the title of essential as they went above and beyond the call of duty during this pandemic," said Councilman Bruce Blakeman. "By providing testing to these workers, we are reaffirming our commitment to keeping residents safe."
“We are beyond thankful for the efforts of all essential workers who adhered to strict precautions in order to continue serving Hempstead Town residents,” said Councilman Anthony D'Esposito, a former Island Park Fire Chief and an NYPD detective. “This program will help protect essential workers while reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
“Day in and day out throughout this pandemic, essential workers have continued working to ensure our community continues moving forward,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr. “This testing initiative being pioneered by the Town of Hempstead in collaboration with Northwell Health will provide these hardworking Long Islanders accessible COVID-19 testing, and help them make informed healthcare decisions.”
“It is difficult to encapsulate just how grateful we all are for the incredible determination displayed by our community’s essential workers who bravely faced down COVID-19 as they continued going about their work even during the darkest days of the pandemic,” said Councilman Tom Muscarella. “I am glad the Town of Hempstead, in collaboration with our partners at Northwell Health, is able to utilize federal CARES Act funding for this worthwhile township sponsored testing program.”
“Every single day throughout this pandemic, essential workers from across Hempstead Town have reported to their workplaces in order to serve their neighbors and community on the front lines against COVID-19,” said Councilman Chris Carini, a former NYPD and Port Authority police officer. “This free COVID-19 diagnostic testing program, organized by the Town of Hempstead and in partnership with Northwell Health, will provide these hardworking Long Islanders access to testing that is so key in halting further spread of this dangerous virus."
For more information about the Town of Hempstead and its efforts to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses throughout the region, visit https://hempsteadny.gov/.