New pop-up COVID-19 testing sites come to western Queens this week

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

New pop-up COVID-19 testing sites have been installed in western Queens this week, to ease some long wait times for testing services.

Testing is available at the following sites:

  • Monday, Jan. 3, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Tornsey/Lou Lodati Playground, 41-15 Skillman Ave. in Long Island City
  • Tuesday, Jan. 4, from noon to 7 p.m. near 60-15 Woodside Ave. in Woodside
  • Thursday, Jan. 6, from noon to 7 p.m. outside the Queens Public Library, 40-20 Broadway in Long Island City

These locations will offer PCR nasal tests for no cost. No appointment is necessary. Queens lawmakers Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, Assembly members Brian Barnwell, Zohran Mamdani, Jessica Gonzales-Rojas, and Council members Tiffany Cabán and Julie Won partnered with Woodside on the Move to temporarily increase the testing capacity in the area. 

“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. “I am glad we are finding more partners eager to help deliver results in this community and serve those who need COVID-19 testing. We need the city and state to do their part and increase capacity, as well.”

About 18,527 people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19, with the seven-day positivity average at about 34%, according to city data. In several western Queens ZIP codes, more than 100 people have been hospitalized with a seven-day positivity rate of about a 32%.

Mamdani, who said he once waited over four hours for a COVID-19 test, said that the city is in the midst of a crisis. 

“NYC has just hit a 23% positivity rate — and yet it still takes hours in the cold for our neighbors to get tested,” Mamdani said. “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.”

The lawmakers have been calling for more city-run testing sites in western Queens in the last two weeks. Recently, they opened a site at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, which will remain open through January.