NASSAU COUNTY, NY - Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced that another County COVID-19 testing center has begun operation in Elmont, NY. The announcement comes after Nassau County opened two COVID-19 testing facilities in Hempstead and Freeport last week. All tests are provided in outdoor facilities open Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM by phone appointment only (516-396-7500).
The rapid testing expansion has been facilitated by a partnership County Executive Curran has forged with Long Island’s community health clinics (or Federally Qualified Health Clinics, "FHQC") to boost access to care in Nassau’s hardest hit communities. All three testing locations are conveniently located and accessible by NICE Bus, which is currently not collecting fares. Services are provided without regard to insurance or immigration status, and multi-lingual translation is available. All three County facilities also provide those who get tested with a free box of food supplies. An announcement regarding an additional County testing facility in Westbury will be made in the coming days.
In addition to expanded testing services, Nassau County is stepping up food assistance in response to growing food insecurity concerns in lower-income communities. County Executive Curran kicked off the County’s first food distribution event Thursday April 23 in Hempstead, one of the communities hit hardest by COVID-19. In partnership with Island Harvest, the County provided food for 1,295 families. The County sponsored another food distribution event Monday in Uniondale, where food supplies were distributed to approximately 900 families. The County will continue to sponsor events in eight additional communities.
"One of the best tools Nassau County has to begin a safe re-opening is mass testing, particularly in our hardest hit areas. This crisis has affected all of us, but it’s shining a bright light on long-standing inequities that we must continue to address in our county and country. That’s why Nassau County is rapidly scaling up access to COVID-19 testing and services in our hardest hit communities, which are predominantly communities of color. In response to rising food insecurity, we’re also stepping up food assistance in lower-income communities, because no one in Nassau should wonder where their next meal is coming from. My Administration will continue to do all in our power to support and protect the well-being of our residents during this difficult time." said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Nassau County is urging any residents who think they or someone in their family has COVID-19 to call (516-396-7500). All County testing locations are open for testing Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, and all appointments must be made through the phone. Testing capacity in New York State remains limited, however anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should be tested as soon as possible. More information is available regarding Long Island FQHC at LIFQHC.org.
“Minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and this testing facility will address a critical need in the Elmont community. Thank you to County Executive Curran for the leadership in recognizing the importance of having a testing facility here and I look forward to partnering with the County and Governor Cuomo to increase access to testing all across the County," said Senator Todd Kaminsky.
"In order to begin the process of reopening our communities, testing needs to be accessible to all New Yorkers, and it needs to take place at a much higher rate than our current capacity will allow. I’m thrilled that we’ve taken a step forward today in making testing available at the Elmont Family Health Center, and I will continue to work with my partners across all levels of government to ensure that all Nassau residents have access to this critical resource in the months ahead,” said Senator Anna M. Kaplan.
“It is encouraging to see Nassau County prioritizing the communities that have shown a higher rate of infection and mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic. Establishing an accessible diagnostic testing network is an integral part in managing the spread of the coronavirus. The Long Island Federally Qualified Health Centers, Inc. (LI FQHC) have a long history of aiding underserved, immigrant, and economically disadvantaged populations in the county. They are uniquely equipped to handle the COVID-19 testing process for our residents. I would like to thank their healthcare workers for the tremendous work they are doing in spite of this increasingly difficult situation. I will continue to work alongside the state and county in advocating for resources," said Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages.
“COVID19 has had a significant impact on the minority community, the opening of this new testing site will allow more residents who are symptomatic to be tested. I thank the County Executive and Long Island FQHC, Inc. for their partnership to provide residents in vulnerable communities with access to COVID19 testing," said County Legislator Carrié Solages.