Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • NYC To Open 1st Drive-Thru COVID-19 Test Site Thursday On Staten Island

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City’s first drive-through coronavirus testing site will open on Staten Island Thursday morning.

    The site will be located at the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Seaview Avenue.

    Congressman Max Rose, who represents Staten Island, took to Twitter to announce the testing facility will be open to all New Yorkers, but by appointment only. It will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The Health Department notes that a person must be experiencing symptoms of the virus to be eligible for an appointment.

    If somebody suspects they may have the virus, they should call the New York State Department of Hospitality at (888) 364-3065.

    The state opened another drive-through testing center at Jones Beach on Long Island Tuesday morning.

    The site is also testing on an appointment basis, and patients must show identification at various checkpoints in order to ensure no tests are wasted.

    The first drive-through testing site opened in New Rochelle last week, when the city had the largest cluster of cases in the state. Most were connected to a 50-year-old attorney who worked in Manhattan.

    For information on how to make an appointment, call the New York State Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

    Rockland County opened its first drive-through center on Wednesday afternoon at the MedRite Urgent Care in Spring Valley. Officials hope to be able to test hundreds of people per day at the location.

    Meanwhile, ProHEALTH, a private medical facility in New York, opened two other locations in Jericho and Little Neck on Wednesday.

    ProHEALTH patients who are experiencing symptoms of a high fever, sore throat and cough, and those who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, may call a dedicated hotline for a medical screening before they are able to make an appointment for a test, which includes a nasopharyngeal swab in both nostrils.

    “We try to make an assessment and then act accordingly,” Dr. Bonnie Simmons, chair of ProHEALTH Urgent Care, told WCBS 880. “It may be stay home and continue doing what you’re doing, it may be go to a hospital, it isn’t turning around fast enough.”

    Dr. Simmons said there are still hospital beds available, but medical professionals are concerned hospitals could reach maximum capacity. ProHEALTH is increasing its Telemedicine capabilities for doctor evaluations to prevent an overflow in its urgent care.

    “The best way to limit this entire pandemic is for everybody to stay home and self-isolate and self-medicate with Tylenol [or] Advil like you would with any other virus,” said Dr. Simmons who started tested patients in Jericho at 7 AM on Wednesday.

    ProHEALTH will be able to test a couple hundred in-network patients a day at both new locations. The healthcare system is offering testing for non-ProHEALTH patients at its other locations on Long Island and in New York City.

    The ProHEALTH coronavirus hotline is (516) 874-0411.

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