Rapid drive-thru coronavirus testing facility opens in Great Neck

Rapid drive-thru coronavirus testing facility opens in Great Neck
Officials throughout Nassau County gathered to announce the opening of a new drive-thru rapid coronavirus testing facility in Great Neck on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Arthur Raslich)

A coronavirus rapid testing facility opened on Monday in Great Neck, one of Nassau County’s regions most affected by the virus.

The facility is a result of Northwell Health’s partnership with Nassau County and the Town of North Hempstead. 

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck), Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey and Northwell Health’s vice president of strategy and analytics, Jeffrey Kraut, in announcing the new drive-thru testing facility at the North Shore Hebrew Academy in Kings Point on Monday.

The testing facility, located at 16 Cherry Lane, is free to residents who schedule an appointment Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to officials, testing will be available to anyone 8 years or older. The consent of a parent or guardian is required for anyone 18 or younger.

Community members will remain in their cars and receive nasal swabs for two diagnostic tests. After the swabs, residents will remain in their vehicles to await the test results and educational materials.

“COVID-19 has greatly disrupted our lives and hit our most vulnerable communities the hardest,” said Northwell’s senior vice president of community and population health, Deb Salas-Lopez. “As cases are slightly increasing in our area, we need to make sure we go above and beyond to stop outbreaks from occurring.”

According to county figures, 51,895 people had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday.  A total of 2,222 people had died as a result of the virus as of Tuesday, according to county figures. Nassau County’s infection rate was at 2.8 percent as of Tuesday, while Long Island had a rate of 3.4 percent, according to state Health Department statistics.

“As COVID-19 cases spike to record numbers nationwide, let’s remain vigilant and proactive,” Curran said. “Nassau County will continue to respond to microspikes — wherever they may pop up — with testing, tracing and community outreach. I thank all the men and women at Northwell for the life-saving work they do every day.”

Of the 51,895 people who had tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday, 1,435 reside on the Great Neck peninsula.

Areas such as the Village of Kings Point, the Village of Great Neck and the Village of Great Neck Plaza have seen recent upticks in confirmed virus cases, according to the county Health Department.  Kings Point had 279 cases, the Village of Great Neck had 428 cases, and the Plaza had 260 cases as of Tuesday, according to county figures.

Kaplan, who helped the area secure funding for testing with the aid of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said the deployment of more testing in areas such as Great Neck is instrumental in flattening the spike of virus cases.

“By strategically deploying convenient testing opportunities in hot spot areas like we are doing in Great Neck, we are helping more people to find out their status, and take appropriate action to stop the spread,” Kaplan said.

“It’s a strategy that has worked in areas around the state, and I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this strategy, and for the partnership of County Executive Curran, North Shore Hebrew Academy and Northwell Health in getting it implemented.”

In October, government officials throughout Nassau County joined together, on paper, and underscored the importance of abiding by state-mandated health precautions as areas such as Great Neck were on their way to becoming virus hotspots.

Recent upticks in virus cases in Queens and Brooklyn prompted the letter, as the proximity of Great Neck to those communities is possibly a reason for an increase in confirmed cases on the peninsula.

“We do not want to be the next cluster, and we must work together to ensure that our community remains vigilant against the spread of COVID-19,” the letter said. “The health and safety of our residents, your families, neighbors, and friends is our top priority.”

Appointments can be made by calling 1-833-4CARENY (833-422-7369).

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