As the rate of Coronavirus infections continues to rise on Long Island and across the state, Supervisor Don Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board today implemented three major COVID-19 testing initiatives in an effort to combat the incoming second wave of the dangerous virus.
During a special Town Board meeting, Supervisor Clavin, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella and Councilman Chris Carini unanimously approved the measures, which include free rapid and PCR diagnostic COVID-19 testing for Town of Hempstead residents through December 30th. This program was made possible utilizing monies from the Town of Hempstead’s $133 million in federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) fund.
Supervisor Clavin and the Town Board approved up to $445,967 in grant monies to Mount Sinai South Nassau, which will open a drive-thru rapid testing site for Town of Hempstead residents in Oceanside. In addition, Clavin and the Council Members also amended an existing agreement with Northwell Health, part of a $1.5 million grant approved in October, which expands its current PCR diagnostic testing program for Essential Workers and First Responders to also include free COVID-19 testing for all Town of Hempstead residents.
“Unfortunately, the Coronavirus infection rates are rising across Long Island, and no community is immune from the spread of the virus,” Clavin said. “Utilizing federal CARES money, which was secured thanks to Senator Charles Schumer, we want to take on the second wave of COVID-19 by providing expanded free testing options for all residents. I’m proud to join with my Town Board colleagues to provide residents with free rapid and PCR diagnostic testing to help curb the spread of COVID-19.”
Under the agreement with Mount Sinai South Nassau, Town of Hempstead residents will have a dedicated phone line to make appointment for a drive-through rapid testing unit in Oceanside. The testing will be conducted at a mobile drive-through unit at Mount Sinai South Nassau (1 Healthy Way, Oceanside) six days a week, 12 hours a day from November 29th through December 30th. More information on this program will be announced in the coming days.
The testing program with Northwell Health expands an existing collaborative effort to provide COVID-19 testing to first responders and essential workers. Utilizing funds from a $1.5 million grant that was approved by the Hempstead Town Board in October, free COVID-19 testing will be available for all town residents at various times and locations, by appointment by calling 516-821-2500, through the end of the year. Through the town’s COVID-19 testing and education program with Northwell Health, more than 10,000 tests have been administered to Town of Hempstead residents. This effort included a six-week antibody testing program, a three-week PCR diagnostic testing program in September for town residents, and an ongoing COVID-19 PCR diagnostic testing service for first responders and essential workers that commenced in October.
In addition, Supervisor Clavin and the Council Members also announced an agreement with Baseline Health Management, LLC., to conduct mobile rapid COVID-19 testing for Town of Hempstead employees as they continue to provide residents with essential services throughout the pandemic.
“As Councilmanic District 1 was hit particularly hard by the first wave of COVID-19, we strongly urge residents to get tested to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby. Added Councilman Blakeman, “With infection numbers on the rise, it’s imperative that we expand access to testing for our town’s 770,000 residents.”
“America’s largest township is committed to keeping residents safe in the midst of this second wave, and we are grateful to Mount Sinai South Nassau and Northwell Health for collaborating with our township in this mission,” said Councilman D’Esposito. Added Councilman Dunne, “The Town of Hempstead is proud to offer free COVID-19 testing for all residents to help protect our community.”
“The Town of Hempstead encourages all of our residents to take advantage of these free programs to help protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors,” said Councilman Muscarella. Added Councilman Carini, “As a former police officer, I know the value of planning ahead and taking action to help protect the community, and the Town Board stands at the ready to help residents.”
For more information on these testing programs, and the Town of Hempstead’s other COVID-19 initiatives and resources, visit hempsteadny.gov/covid-19.