New COVID-19 testing site coming to Astoria Variety Boys and Girls Club

A new COVID-19 testing site will be set up at the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Astoria on Dec. 24. (Photo courtesy of Gianaris’ office)

A new COVID-19 testing site at the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Astoria will be open on Dec. 24 and Dec. 26 through Dec. 31. 

This test site is being run in conjunction with MetPath Laboratories at 21-12 30th Rd. It will be open from 8:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. daily, offering PCR tests. Results will be provided within 48 hours and insurance is not required.

This announcement comes after western Queens elected officials called on the city to increase testing sites. 

“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has created great new demand for COVID-19 testing. Western Queens is underserved by the number of testing sites available, and we need more – now,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “While I continue pushing for a stronger program of permanent test sites as soon as possible, I am glad my colleagues and I were able to secure this new location.”

In the last seven days, nearly 3,000 people in Queens tested positive for COVID-19. Queens alone has a daily positivity rate of 8.3% and a seven-day average of 6% positivity, according to state health department data.

Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani tweeted this week that he waited over four hours for a COVID-19 test. 

“Our neighbors have been forced to spend hours waiting in the cold for COVID tests,” Mamdani said. “Some have then been turned away, and for the lucky that get tested, some never even receive their results. This will bring some much-needed respite to our constituents, though the true solution to this crisis continues to be the City rapidly scaling and staffing up a testing operation that meets the true demand of New Yorkers.”

Gianaris, Mamdani, and Council member Tiffany Cabán are still working to ramp up testing in their districts, including making the Athens Square Park location a permanent mobile testing site. 

Former Councilman Costa Constantinides, now the CEO of the Variety of Boys and Girls Club in Queens, said they are ready to serve the community. 

“We stand ready to answer the call of the needs of our neighborhood by providing a location for free COVID-19 testing,” Constantinides said. “Thank you to Senator Gianaris, Assembly Member Mamdami and Council Member Cabán for your leadership to add additional testing in Western Queens and organizing to make this a reality.”

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