Free COVID-19 antibody testing coming to Broad Channel

COVID-19 vaccination center, fair grounds Cologne, 1st vaccinati
State Senator Joseph Addabbo is bringing free COVID-19 antibody testing to Broad Channel next month. (Photo via Wikimedia)

State Senator Joseph Addabbo is partnering with a local medical facility to bring free rapid COVID-19 antibody testing to Broad Channel.

On Saturday, May 8, medical technicians from Rockaway-based Valhalla Medics will be on site at the All American Bagel & Barista II, located at 20-10 Cross Bay Blvd., from noon to 2 p.m., to provide free rapid COVID-19 antibody testing to residents that register for the event. No insurance is necessary to take part in the testing event and anyone wishing to participate can register by calling Addabbo’s district office at 718-738-1111. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

Samantha and Philip D’Agostino of Valhalla Medics are Broad Channel residents who reached out to Addabbo’s office to work on bringing this free event to their community.

“As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccination, we must continue to remain vigilant in the fight against this virus,” Addabbo said. “With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in certain local areas, getting tested is vitally important. Even if you are fully vaccinated, there is still a small chance that you could catch COVID and potentially spread it to those who are not vaccinated. Be sure to keep yourself and your loved ones safe by getting tested for COVID regularly.”

The test that will be given is a rapid lgG/lgM antibody test, which is done using a nearly painless finger prick to draw a small bead of blood that is transferred for processing. After a 10-minute wait, patients are given a form with a write-up of their results that is signed by the technician who performed the test that can detect and differentiate between the presence of the short-term and the long-term presence of antibodies.

Addabbo added that it is important to get an antibody test even after being vaccinated because it can show antibodies from the vaccine and determine if you had the virus in the past, and it can show a current infection of COVID-19. Data has shown that even if you are vaccinated, there is a small chance that you can still contract COVID-19 and spread it to others.

“I would like to thank everyone at Valhalla Medics for volunteering their free time to come out and provide the community with these antibody tests during this free event,” Addabbo said. “I would also like to thank Nicholas Saladino, the owner and operator of All American Bagel & Barista II for allowing us to use their space for this event. It is a great feeling when a community comes together like this to help each other get back to business.”

And in another sign that his district is returning to normalcy, Addabbo announced that two Queens Public Library branches are now open for to-go services.

“It is great to see that our libraries are beginning to reopen, even if it is only for to-go services,”Addbbo said. “With the announcement of five additional branches available for to-go services, including two in my district — Howard Beach and Middle Village — it brings the total number of Queens Public Library branches that are open to 39. These branches will be open three days a week and will have daily cleaning times where the branches will be closed for one hour. Each location is ready to start taking requests. The reopening of our libraries is a positive step towards recovery from the pandemic and normalcy in our lives.”

Other branches that are reopened with to-go services include Baisley Park, Douglaston and Woodside.