Cuomo: NY adding COVID-19 testing sites at 24 churches

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that the state is partnering with Northwell Health to bring coronavirus testing sites to 24 churches in an effort to expand testing in predominantly minority communities.
The sites will open this month at houses of worship, including two in Nassau County.
Cuomo says the churches have the outreach tools in place to get people through the door and communicate to them why they should be tested. The initiative was inspired in part by the fact that communities of color have seen the highest percentages of hospitalizations and infections.
Data from New York state shows that most new coronavirus hospital patients are coming from ZIP codes with high African American and Latino populations.
The two churches being used in Nassau County are Union Baptist Church in Hempstead and First Baptist Cathedral in Westbury.
According to Northwell Health, approximately 100 people will be seen at each location per day and the program is scheduled to last for about two weeks.
A first wave of testing sites will open the week of May 12, and the second wave will open on May 19.
Suffolk County churches will not be participating in the testing. County Executive Steve Bellone says that's because hot spot testing in his county has been successful so far.
"When you put the church-based sites together with the drive-thru sites, together with the walk-in testing sites and our sites in public housing, the coverage will be extensive," Cuomo says.
Authorities have also been distributing face coverings and hand sanitizer in public housing in New York City.
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