St. George Ferry Terminal is one of the places the city plans to add a new rapid testing site. The idea is you come in, get tested, and if you test positive, there will be contact tracers to walk you through next steps.
It’s part of the city’s plan to tackle the spike in two zip codes in the borough — 10305 and 10314 in the Rosebank and Bull’s Head neighborhoods, respectively.
“In this case, in your case, we’ve caught it early, and we will do everything in our power to deploy resources and join the fight with you by your side,” Dr. Ted Long, of NYC Health + Hospitals told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis on Thursday.
Long is the head of the city’s Test and Trace Corps, which is working in two zip codes that have surpassed a 3% positivity rate.
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“We see the kind of increase that makes us concerned, that needs that very hyperlocal approach that we used in Sunset Park, in Soundview, in southeast Queens successfully,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The response includes:
- More than 70 Test and Trace Corps staff on the ground encouraging testing, masks and social distancing.
- 10 new testing sites
- A new rapid testing site at St. George Ferry Terminal next week.
The mayor said what’s happening in Staten Island is more isolated than the recent outbreak in Brooklyn and Queens.
“Not something that at this moment would trigger restrictions. That’s obviously the state’s decision. It is something that we think can be handled quickly with a lot of community involvement,” de Blasio said.
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Kasia Zajac, the owner of Molto Carino salon, located in one of the impacted zip codes, said she is holding the city and community accountable and worried this could get worse.
“We need to see that they’re doing that, not just saying in a press conference,” Zajac said. “If they’re going to shut down more of the businesses again I don’t think we’re going to reopen again.”
At the St. John Villa Academy testing site, a staff member told CBS2 the site conducted more than 100 tests on Wednesday. That’s about triple it sees on a given day.
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The mayor said the uptick on Staten Island hasn’t been traced to a specific source, but he believes fatigue is a big factor. DeAngelis asked those who live and work in the borough what they think.
“I guess people are not doing what they’re supposed to do, not wearing a mask,” one resident said.
“My opinion is so-so. I don’t really think you have to wear masks unless you’re close to someone,” resident Blerona Osmani said.
Upcoming hyperlocal test sites:
- Tappen Park – 11/6, 11/7, 11/8, 11/10
- Central Family Life Center flu shot event – 11/10
- St. George’s Ferry Terminal – 11/12
“Hopefully everybody will wear their masks and try to stay socially distant and we can bring it back down,” said Brett Weed, who works at Pratt Industries on Victory Boulevard.
Along with the ferry terminal becoming a rapid test site next Thursday, the city is partnering with the neighboring outlets here to serve as a personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution site.
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