ASTORIA – Standing in Athens Square Park, Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani, and Council Member Tiffany Cabán called on the City of New York to add more testing sites throughout western Queens to handle the increase in demand due to the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant during the holiday season.
“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has created great new demand for Covid testing. Western Queens is underserved by the number of testing sites available, and we need more – now,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “I urge the city to create a stronger program of permanent test sites — and do so quickly — so we can keep all our neighbors safe.”
“Our neighbors are spending hours in the cold, waiting for COVID tests. Some are then turned away, others never even receive their results. We are in a crisis today, so we must respond today. Astoria needs more test sites and we need to meet the need now,” said Assembly Member Zohran K. Mamdani.
"Receiving reports that my constituents, who are trying to do the right thing by getting tested, are being forced to wait upwards of four hours in the cold, only to then wait for several days to get a result back, is heartbreaking and infuriating. This spike in infections didn’t exactly sneak up on us; the outgoing mayor has had plenty of time to ramp up our capacity, rather than shuttering H+H testing sites. We need more sites now, to keep our loved ones safe this holiday season,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán.
Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Mamdani have pushed the city for more testing in western Queens, including by making a mobile testing site located at Athens Square Park a permanent fixture.
Photos from today’s press conference are available here.