CDC sends COVID mobile testing units to in-need Queens neighborhoods

Doctor in protective gloves & workwear holding Testing Kit for the coronavirus test
Photo via Getty Images

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, Dec. 22, deployed the first fleet of mobile testing units to several Queens neighborhoods, including Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Flushing.

The mobile testing units are supplied by the CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing Team (ICATT), in order to meet high demand for COVID-19 testing, which has reached record levels at more than 150,000 tests per day, according to NYC Test & Trace Corps.

New York state broke its single-day case record for a fourth day straight, reporting nearly 23,4000 new COVID-19 cases overnight. The omicron variant makes up about 90% of all COVID-19 cases in New York City, according to CDC. 

“As we gather for the winter holidays and with COVID-19 cases on the rise due to the emergence of the omicron variant, testing is more important than ever,” said Dr. Henry Walke, lead of CDC’s Expansion of Screening & Diagnostics Task Force. “Testing can help people determine if they have COVID-19 — regardless of whether they have symptoms — and if they are at risk of spreading the virus to others. CDC is eager to assist communities with mobile testing options to ensure anyone can get tested.”

This week, CDC mobile testing units, which come at no cost, will be at the following Queens locations:

Starting on Wednesday, Dec. 22:

Travers Park
76-9 34th Ave.
Queens, NY 11372
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Starting on Thursday, Dec. 23:

Travers Park
76-9 34th Ave.
Queens, NY 11372
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Queens Valley Playground
Corner of 137 Street & 77 Ave.
Flushing, NY 11367
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Helen Marshall Playground
100 Street and 24th Avenue
East Elmhurst, NY 11369
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional CDC mobile testing units will be added next week, according to NYC Test & Trace Corps.

New York City residents can expect to see an increase in mobile testing sites, with units that will provide an additional 25,000 PCR tests per week to communities most in need of convenient, no-cost testing by next week.

NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long thanked the federal government for their support. 

“We thank President Biden and the CDC for their quick, decisive action to support our testing capacity in New York City,” Long said. “The deployment of additional units will provide even greater access to convenient, no-cost testing for New Yorkers as they lookout for the wellbeing of their family, friends and neighbors by getting tested to break chains of transmission and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

In the last seven days, nearly 3,000 people in Queens tested positive for COVID19. According to state health department data, Queens alone has a daily positivity rate of 8.3% and a seven-day average of 6% positivity.

Western Queens lawmakers yesterday spoke out about community members waiting upwards of four hours in long lines for tests.

“I spent 4.5 hours on line on Sunday to get a COVID test,” Assembly member Zohran Mamdani tweeted. “I’ve heard from constituents who’ve spent just as many hours waiting, only to then get turned away. We are not just facing a COVID crisis in Astoria, we’re facing a testing crisis.”

On Tuesday, more western Queens lawmakers and community members called on the city to establish more testing, vaccine and booster sites in the borough.

“We have to make sure it’s at the greatest capacity as possible, with as many hours as possible, with as many languages spoken as possible,” González-Rojas said. “We need more testing, vaccine and booster sites to open in New York City and we are prepared to work with this mayor and Mayor-elect Adams to prioritize this and the wellbeing of New Yorkers. What we will not do is wait any longer for an efficient and adequate response.”

For current information on available COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites near you, visit NYC.gov/covidtest.