You need an appointment to get a COVID-19 test at the drive-through testing site set up in the south Beach area of Staten Island.
The new drive-thru coronavirus testing facility opened this morning, surrounded by throngs of New York State Police Officers and back up by platoon of Army National Guardsmen who will be suited with protective masks while working on site.
The state-run mobile testing site is in a parking lot next to South Beach Psychiatric Center on Seaview Avenue. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment only, officials said. Those seeking an appointment with any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) may call the Health Department Coronavirus hot-line at 1-888-364-3065.
State officials say they have capacity for hundreds of cars. Some vehicles come with several people on board. The average testing takes only a half an hour with an appointment. That includes check-in and then each of those being tested by specially Tyvek suited medical professionals.
A long swab is inserted into each nostril to get the proper amount of sample to be tested. Windows are kept closed, indicated by signs and instructions, until the actual test.
By 1 pm., more than 100 people had been tested.
Officials say test results are available within 72 hours of the initial test. The Staten Island drive-thru testing facility is the fifth in the state.
The first one was established in New Rochelle where a cluster of residents were found to have the virus. Other testing sites now include Jones Beach and Stony Brook on Long Island, and in Rockland County.
On Friday, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn will provide drive-thru coronavirus testing by appointment only. Tests are being set up at other NYC Health + Hospitals locations across the five boroughs.
There are now 3,615 people reported to have coronavirus in New York City with 22 deaths as a result. There are 11,500 cases in the United States with 168 deaths. Worldwide, coronavirus cases have surpassed 237,000, with 980 deaths.