New Rochelle continues to operate drive-through coronavirus testing site

Posted: Updated:

New York's first mobile testing center has opened in New Rochelle.

Officials say Northwell Health has set up a drive-through coronavirus testing site at Glen Island Park.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand today, and says it is the first public drive-through testing facility on the East Coast. The facility has six lanes.

MORE: A list of area schools and universities closed amid COVID-19 outbreak

In order to get tested, people will need to make an appointment with a doctor’s prescription first. According to the state’s website, quarantined New Rochelle residents will be tested first.

Once they have an appointment, people will then drive into a tented area, get swabbed, and then the swab will be sent to a lab like BioReference Laboratories where they will be tested within 24-48 hours. Today they're expected to test up to 200 people, but the goal in the coming days is to increase that capacity to about 500.

"It is not only faster and easier, it's also smarter and safer because you're not exposing a person who may be positive," Cuomo said.

New Rochelle is currently at the center of New York's coronavirus outbreak, and officials have been focusing their efforts to stop the spread with the creation of a containment zone and pushing to get more and more New Yorkers tested.

Cuomo was adamant there are two ways to fight the virus - by reducing density and closing all events of groups over 500 people and for increased testing. He says testing people and finding out who tested positive, and then isolating them is the way to slow down the virus.

He says that he has lobbied Vice President Mike Pence to allow states to do more testing. “We are not scale. We need to change that quickly and let the federal government turn that function over to the states. He states do it anyway.. that’s our bread and butter. You could open up 500 to1,000 laboratories overnight if you just turn that responsibility back to the states.”

Cuomo says the mobile testing center will be open through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, which he expects to be several months.

The number to call to make an appointment is (888) 364-3065.

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