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COVID-19: Drive-Through Testing Facilities Opening In Nassau, Suffolk

There have now been 12 coronavirus-related deaths in New york. Photo Credit:
The steps New York State is taking to combat the spread of COVID-19. Photo Credit: Governor's Office
A look at the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the New York healthcare system. Photo Credit: Governor's Office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's news briefing on Tuesday, March 17
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's news briefing on Tuesday, March 17 Video Credit: NYGovCuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility. Photo Credit:

Mobile testing for the novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is coming to Long Island.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a daily news briefing in Albany on Tuesday, March 17 that the second, and third “drive-through” novel coronavirus testing centers are being set up in Nassau and Suffolk counties this week.

“We opened on in New Rochelle, and it’s been working well,” he said. “So we’ll be opening one in Nassau County, one in Suffolk and then one in Staten Island. We will also be opening one up in Rockland County.”

The new mobile testing site opened up at Jones Beach on Tuesday with the Suffolk County facilities opening up this week at an as-of-yet unannounced location.

The mobile testing sites will feature multiple lanes for area residents to drive into, get tested in their cars by doctors or nurses, and then drive away within 15 minutes. Those tests are then sent to a lab to determine whether the patient is positive for coronavirus without risking exposure to patients or hospital staff.

It is expected that the mobile labs will have the capacity to test approximately 200 to 250 cars daily. The results will be returned within 48 hours, Cuomo said.

Cuomo noted that those looking to get tested cannot just show up at the mobile testing facility, and will have to call 888-364-3065 to set up an appointment

“This is a creative way of testing, this ‘drive-through’ testing,” he said. “I hadn’t heard of this last week, but we’re doing it this week thanks to the team we have around us. “It’s faster and easier, and also smarter and safer because you’re not exposing people to a person who may be positive at a hospital.

"Until now, if someone thought they were positive, they’d walk into a hospital and expose staff members and patients, now we can avoid that.

“It’s safer and there’s a lot less exposure overall.”

Michael Dowling, the CEO and President of Northwell Health called the facilities “unique,” adding that “it shows the entrepreneurship in New York that we have to be able to do something that I don’t think is around anywhere at the moment. It’s unique and pretty extraordinary.”

A total of 24 new COVID-19 cases in Nassau County (bringing the total to 131 and 21 new cases in Suffolk (bringing the total to 84) were reported late Wednesday morning, Tuesday, March 17. (See the first image above.)

Cuomo began the news briefing by outlining the main steps to New York is taking to combat the spread of COVID-19. (See second image above.)

For data on the impact to the state's healthcare system, see the third image above.

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