City ramping up testing and tracing efforts in three Queens neighborhoods

Families wait to get tested at the mobile testing site in Sunset Park. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

The city will up its testing and tracing efforts in Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill in Queens, officials announced on Tuesday. 

A new rapid testing site will pop up at the Queens Public Library at Ozone Park, 92-24 Rockaway Blvd., this Friday, Sept. 18, in an attempt to drive down COVID-19 positive cases in the neighborhood. Rapid testing, in which results are given immediately, will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day and Test and Trace Corps members will encourage residents to get tested through door-knocking and robocalls. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio claims that the Test and Trace Corps’ hyperlocal testing and outreach have prevented up to 15,000 potential COVID-19 cases across the five boroughs. Corp members’ efforts in Soundview, he said, drove the neighborhood’s 2.4 % COVID-19 positive infection rate to 0.82% in two weeks. 

Members knocked on 12, 000 doors, tested 2,585 people and “engaged” with all that tested positive for the virus with the help of the Mexican Coalition and the human service provider, SCO Family of Services.  

De Blasio added that increased testing efforts continue in Borough Park, Brooklyn which saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases after a large wedding took place in the neighborhood. The city distributed 10,000 face masks to over 20 synagogues and 1,000 palm cards to 20 community organizations. 

“This is a time where it is particularly important,” de Blasio said.” More and more economic activity,  more and more people going back to work, schools reopening, and the high holidays coming. It’s important to remind people to avoid those large gatherings.” 

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