Last week, western Queens announced a new temporary COVID-19 testing site at the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Astoria. Now, they are extending the testing availability through January.
The Variety Boys and Girls Club at 21-12 30th Rd. will have a mobile testing site, operated by Ridgewood Diagnostic Laboratories, until the end of January, State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani and City Council member Tiffany Cabán announced Monday, Dec. 27.
“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,”Gianaris said. “Working with my colleagues, we continue delivering real results here in western Queens — it’s time the city does the same.”
Astoria has a seven-day positivity rate of more than 16 percent, according to city health department data.
Testing lines have wrapped around blocks with hours-long wait times all over New York City, with over hour-long wait times. Over 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Dec. 17. That was up 20 percent from the previous day, and 100 percent from two days before.
Mamdani tweeted about his experience waiting for a COVID-19 test, saying he spent four hours waiting in line.
“NYC is the epicenter of the Omicron variant today and yet it can still take hours in the cold for our neighbors to get tested,” Mamdani said. “We have been calling on the City to remedy this immediately, and we continue to do so. But we cannot afford to wait, and I’m proud to continue partnering with my colleagues and Variety Boys and Girls Club to bring another testing site to Astoria.”
The western Queens elected officials are still pushing for more COVID-19 testing sites, specifically requesting to make a testing site at Athens Square Park a permanent fixture.