NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially opened the new Drive-Through Coronavirus Test Facility in New Rochelle, epicenter of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak. Patients were driving up to be tested as Governor addressed the world’s media.
The Governor explained the procedure to get tested.
People can call 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment. The facility is set up to handle all of Westchester but priority will be given to people in New Rochelle and those in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with lung or heart conditions.
The facility at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle is set up in a large parking lot and arranged with orange traffic cones to deliver cars into the testing area through 6 lanes of traffic. The medical staff, dressed in gray Hazmat suits will approach the vehicle, take a sample with a swab and place it in a tube. The tube will then be sent to a lab for testing. The results will be provided within 1-2 days.
Northwell Health is managing the testing at the site, the samples are being delivered to a lab operated by BioReference Laboratories, one of the largest clinical laboratories in the United States.
The Glen Island test site can handle 200 cars a day. The exact number of patients will be based on how many people come in each car. The Governor said he did not know how long the test site in New Rochelle would be open but he expected the Coronavirus to be an issue for 8 to 9 months, not a few weeks or a couple of months.
If you call 1-888-364-3065 you will here a series of voicemail prompts you will hear this audio:
Cuomo called New Rochelle home to the most significant cluster” in the nation to explain why he chose to open the first drive-through test site in New Rochelle. He explained that there are plenty of test kits but not enough lab capacity to process those kits.
“We do have a crisis in testing,” said Cuomo, “We’re not up to scale,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he had been in regular contact with Vice President Mike Pence who is leading the federal response to the pandemic.
The Governor repeatedly stated that he has been making the case to Pence privately, as well as publicly, that the federal government must free up the states to take the lead in testing.
“It’s our bread and butter,” said Cuomo. “It’s what we do.”
Cuomo praised the medical staff who set up the facility.
“It’s not only faster and easier, it’s also smarter and safer because you’re not exposing people to a person who may be positive,” Cuomo said.
“The single most important thing we can do to combat and contain the novel coronavirus is test for it, and while the federal government was caught flatfooted in the midst of this crisis, New York has stepped up to fill in the gaps and ramp up testing capacity.”
“We’re partnering with Northwell and BioReference to run the state’s first drive-through testing facility and ensure the highest-risk population gets the tests they need to help us contain and combat this pandemic – in an efficient, safe, smart way. As we run our own test and test more people, the number of people that we find with the virus is going to keep going up, but New Yorkers should continue to remain calm and remember that the more positive tests we find, the more we can limit the virus and reduce its spread.”