Exclusive: Ortiz announces COVID-19 testing site in Sunset Park starting tomorrow

April 30, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Exclusive: Ortiz announces COVID-19 testing site in Sunset Park starting tomorrow
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Assemblymember Felix Ortiz announced that he has secured a COVID-19 testing site in Sunset Park starting tomorrow.

The new testing site is the former NYU Langone Augustana Center, 5434 Second Avenue. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Patients must call 888-364-3065 to schedule an appointment.

Ortiz told this paper that, with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health, it will be the first site to be accessible to those who live in Sunset Park.

“COVID-19 is striking terror in our city, especially in our Hispanic and black communities,” Ortiz said.  “My constituents are putting their lives on the line every day as caregivers, food service workers, home attendants, childcare givers, cleaners and delivery people. These are the city’s most underpaid, underappreciated and forgotten workforce with nowhere near home to go to be tested for the virus. That ends today.”

He also stated, “The discriminatory practice of expecting low-paid minority workers to carry out the burden of caring for society without compensating or protecting is unacceptable. We are setting up easily accessible testing sites and will continue to fight back this virus for all New Yorkers.”

If individuals need a test and are not able to get an appointment, Ortiz encourages them to call his office at 718-492-6334 for assistance.

Ortiz, who represents Sunset Park, Red Hook, Bay Ridge, South Slope, Greenwood Heights, Columbia Heights, Borough Park and Carroll Gardens, added that Sunset Park residents are especially suffering during the coronavirus epidemic.

Photo courtesy of Felix Ortiz

“The workers from Sunset Park are putting their own health and their family’s health at risk of contracting the coronavirus,” he said. “When they get sick, they go home, and their families get sick. They had nowhere to go and no one to help them.

He added, “Securing testing sites is merely a start in my fight against racism, health disparity and injustices in my community and others like mine in New York.”

According to Ortiz, Sunset Park residents have seen cases of people who have died at home of COVID-19 without seeking treatment or getting tested.

“Seniors living alone, undocumented families who fear deportation and the uninsured in the community are still very much at risk,” he said. “Also at risk are non-English-speaking citizens. This site will address all of these needs. This virus doesn’t discriminate but our health care system does. We must put an end to this disparity. I will continue to push for passage of New York’s Health Care Act to end inequality and racism in seeking medical services.”

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