As the rate of Coronavirus infections continues to rise on Long Island and across the state, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board implemented a new drive-thru rapid testing initiative with Mount Sinai South Nassau. The goal of this effort is to help contain the virus during the anticipated second wave by establishing testing for residents from the safety of their vehicles. Aside from the entire process taking approximately 15 minutes, its design will drastically reduce person-to-person contact at the testing facility.
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 this initiative, which is possible due to the monies from the Town of Hempstead’s $133 million federal CARES Act fund.
“Everything we have done so far has been practicing to help curb the spread of the virus and its effects on vulnerable communities better each day. We strongly believe providing this testing option to residents is a way to do so and we thank Senator Charles Schumer who helped secured the funding allowing us to do support this and other initiatives,” Supervisor Don Clavin said.
The drive-thru rapid tests, offered at no charge, are available by appointment only for Town of Hempstead residents. The COVID-19 rapid tests will be administered at Mount Sinai South Nassau’s Washington Avenue entrance, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Town of Hempstead residents can make an appointment for the Mount Sinai South Nassau free rapid tests by calling 516-390-2888. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m Individuals aged 17 or younger must have written consent or be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to be tested.
“Expanding testing is one way to combat the virus,” said Richard J. Murphy, President & CEO of Mount Sinai South Nassau. “If you know you are positive, you can stay home and self-isolate, reducing the possibility of spreading the disease. We’re pleased to be teaming up with the Town of Hempstead to help meet demand for more testing in the communities we serve.”
The Town of Hempstead Town Board unanimously approved a grant on Monday to Mount Sinai South Nassau to expand testing to the public, using $445,967 in federal CARES Act money that the Town received. The funds are being used to establish an all-weather tent for the mobile rapid testing unit, as well as additional tests and staffing as needed as Mount Sinai South Nassau conducts the program.
“Providing our residents free testing options will help us in the fight against the second wave of the Coronavirus,” Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said. “Thanks to Mount Sinai South Nassau for partnering on an initiative that will help protect our families, friends and fellow community members during this pandemic.”
“Mount Sinai South Nassau serves many residents in my district and across America’s largest township and I’m thankful for the work of their brave front line heroes throughout the pandemic,” Councilman Bruce Blakeman said. “We’re proud to partner with Mount Sinai South Nassau on this important COVID-19 testing initiative.”
“As a first responder and Council Member and lifelong resident of the area, I know from experience that the dedicated team at Mount Sinai South Nassau is a leader in providing quality health care to community members, and has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from Day 1,” Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said. “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 for collaborating with our township in this mission.”
“Through this program with Mount Sinai South Nassau, residents can conveniently schedule a free COVID-19 test without having to leave their vehicle,” Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., said. “This drive-through testing provides residents with more testing options as they contend with the pandemic and try to keep them and their family members safe.”
“Drive-through options are now in high demand due to their safety and convenience,” Councilman Tom Muscarella said. “Rather than having to stand out in the cold weather for hours waiting to get tested, this provides residents with the option to make an appointment and remain in their vehicles, and we thank Mount Sinai South Nassau for their creative and forward thinking during this difficult period.”
“As a former police officer who worked hand in hand with firefighters and emergency medical technicians, I know how vital a role our hospitals play in providing critical care, especially during a pandemic,” Councilman Chris Carini said. “Through this partnership with Mount Sinai South Nassau, we’re leading the way when it comes to free testing options for our residents as we continue to fight the second wave of the Coronavirus.
“As Coronavirus infection rates rise across Long Island, we want to continue doing our part to expand free COVID-19 testing options for all Town of Hempstead residents,” Clavin concluded. “Through this collaboration with Mount Sinai South Nassau, we are now proud to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing to residents. Thank you to Mount Sinai South Nassau’s team of frontline heroes for providing top quality healthcare for our residents and working together as we combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
For more information on these testing programs, and the Town of Hempstead’s other COVID-19 initiatives and resources, visit hempsteadny.gov