May 26, 2020 By Allie Griffin
More than 10 new COVID-19 testing centers will open in Queens over the next month — including three facilities in the hard-hit Far Rockaway neighborhood, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning.
The city opened two of the new sites today and plans to open the rest throughout the month of June. One testing center started operating today in Forest Hills and another in Far Rockaway — where local officials have long called for coronavirus testing.
The Far Rockaway neighborhood, which is comprised of largely black and brown residents, has one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 in New York City, but has had no fixed testing sites until today.
The neighborhood has the second highest death rate in New York City with a rate of 451 deaths per 100,000 people — just behind a section of Canarsie, Brooklyn that has a rate of 620 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data as of today at 2:15 p.m.
Each neighborhood’s death rate is more than twice New York City’s overall rate of 197 deaths per 100,000 people.
In total, Far Rockaway’s 11691 zip code has had 2,210 cases of COVID-19 and 292 confirmed deaths from the virus as of today.
The first COVID-19 test center in Far Rockaway opened today at Rockaway Medical Office, located at 29-15 Far Rockaway Blvd., through a partnership between the city and AdvantageCare Physicians.
A second test center will open Thursday at the Sorrentino Recreation Center, located at 18-48 Cornaga Ave. and a third will open on June 4 at Beach 39th St. in Far Rockaway.
A temporary COVID-19 test facility was set up at Far Rockaway’s Delmont Medical Care center, located at 16-24 Central Avenue, last Thursday, but testing ended there today.
Flushing, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Jamaica, Richmond Hill and Elmhurst will also get new diagnostic test sites over the next few weeks as New York City rapidly expands its testing capacity to prepare for reopening.
Mayor de Blasio said the city will have more than 180 testing sites by the end of June and has surpassed its goal of hitting initial goal of 20,000 test per day.
The city now hopes to be able to test 50,000 people a day by Aug. 1, de Blasio said.
“By August 1 our goal is to be at 50,000 tests per day and we feel confident about our ability to get to that number,” he said at City Hall this morning.
Each diagnostic testing site is free for the uninsured and there is no out-of-pocket cost for those with health insurance.
The other newly announced Queens testing sites include:
Forest Hills Medical Center, located at 96-10 Metropolitan Ave. opens today, May 26.*
Flushing North Medical Center, located at 140-15 Sanford Ave. opens Monday, June 1.*
Jamaica Estates Medical Center, located at 180-05 Hillside Ave. opens Monday, June 1.*
Richmond Hill Medical Center, located at 125-06 101st Ave. opens Monday, June 1.*
Flushing: Leavitt Field, located at 138-10 32nd Ave. opens the week of June 1.
Ridgewood: 1716 Bleecker St. opens the week of June 1.
Elmhurst Medical Center, located at 86-15 Queens Blvd. opens Monday, June 8.*
Long Island City/ Queensbridge Houses: Jacob Riis Settlement House, located at 10-25 41st Ave. opens the week of June 22.
*The testing sites with an asterisk are being offered through a partnership with AdvantageCare Physicians and require an appointment, which can be scheduled by calling 866-749-2660.
All testing centers can be found on the city’s COVID-19 resources website.