Supervisor Don Clavin and members of the Hempstead Town Board have announced the second week of a COVID-19 testing initiative, in collaboration with Northwell Health, that is centered on keeping first responders safe. The initiative expands existing COVID-19 testing programs to include free-of-charge polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for first responders as they are constantly in contact with members of the community.
Free COVID-19 testing is available for first responders who work and live within the Town of Hempstead. Eligible first responders include sworn police officers, sworn peace officers (i.e. corrections), firefighters (paid and volunteer), municipal EMS (not private entities) and auxiliary police. Walk-ups are welcome, but first responders can make an appointment by calling (516) 821-2500.
“No matter the circumstances, our first responders are always there to protect our community,” Clavin said. “We must ensure that they are remaining safe and free of COVID-19. We continue to thank Senator Schumer for the integral role he played in securing this funding that made the launch of this initiative and the many others possible.”
The upcoming First Responder COVID-19 testing schedule (all testing is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.):
This initiative has been made possible through CARES Act funding in which the Town of Hempstead received a $133 million grant to alleviate some of the adverse effects that have arisen due to the pandemic. Supervisor Clavin and members of the Hempstead Town Board – 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 Jeanine Driscoll – launched the First Responder testing program in early November with Northwell Health.
PCR testing is of vital importance for the first responder’s community as the test confirms whether the COVID-19 virus is active within the test recipient. Testing centers will take place in six fire battalion within the Town with locations announced on a rolling basis. 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.
"Our first responders are the true heroes of this pandemic," said Debbie Salas-Lopez, MD, MPH, Northwell's senior vice president for community and population health. "We need to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of our communities by providing them with free testing and the right resources. And our partnership with the Town of Hempstead reinforces our promise to keep them healthy during this troubling time."
“We encourage all first responders to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing in the Town of Hempstead,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. Added Councilman Bruce Blakeman, “Expanded testing is essential to protecting our first responders and residents throughout America’s largest township.”
“As a police officer and former fire chief, I commend Northwell Health for its commitment and dedication to our first responders,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. Added Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., “The Town of Hempstead is proud to continue this partnership with Northwell Health to help our police officers, firefighters, EMS workers and other first responders.”
“I thank Supervisor Clavin for his leadership on this important issue, as well as Northwell Health for providing an invaluable service to the community,” said Councilman Tom Muscarella. Added Councilman Chris Carini, “As a former police officer, I have firsthand experience of how often our first responders are in close contact with residents, and this testing program is a very important program for our township.”
All first responders who work and live within the Town of Hempstead are encouraged to utilize these services to keep themselves as well as the community safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19. The list of eligible first responders includes:
To learn more about future testing locations and to register to take a test, please call (516) 821-2500. 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/.