From Mayor DeBlasio: New Testing Sites
Growing Number of Testing Sites
As of today, there are now eight community testing sites operated by H+H across the City:
● Belvis Health Center
● Gotham Health Morrisania
● Cumberland Health Center
● Gotham Health East New York
● Gouverneur Health Center
● Sydenham Health Center
● H&H Queens Hospital
● Vanderbilt Health Center
Making Testing Easier
Two big constraints to testing have been how the tests are conducted -- they potentially expose healthcare workers to people who are COVID-19 positive, and they require a lot of PPE. Today, the Mayor announced that H+H sites will be able to start utilizing samples from a nasal swab and saliva, which people can self-administer under medical supervision. This doesn’t mean that people can do tests at home, but it does mean this will allow us to use fewer PPE and protect healthcare workers more from exposure. It will also allow us to test more people, faster -- an estimated increase from 15 to 20 people an hour. Our priority is still testing the most vulnerable, particularly in hardest-hit communities. We do need three things to ramp this up fast: first, private laboratories to process these test results; second, convenience kits from the State of New York so people can do the test at home; and third, more test kits from the Federal government.
Hiring Contact Tracers
We are looking to hire 1,000 contact tracers immediately, particularly people with experience in the healthcare field. We will also be training people from a variety of City agencies to complement this work. These contact tracers will interview people who are positive, identify others who may have been exposed, and follow-up with those people in turn to be tested. Hiring will be done through the Fund for Public Health. Please encourage folks to visit FPHnyc.org<http://www.fphnyc.org> for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
We are pleased to announce that we have an agreement with the City Council to open streets for non-auto use through sidewalk widening measures, closure of streets near and within parks, closure of streets in partnership with local organizations, new bike lanes, and more. We will be working with the Council to identify a minimum of forty miles of streets to close over the next month, with a large goal of one hundred miles of open street strategies that require minimal staffing resources without jeopardizing safet