NY Considers Bringing Testing Site To Long Island As Dozens More Cases Reported

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 14, 2020 - 12:40 pm
Categories: 

NASSAU COUNTY (WCBS 880) -- Dozens of new cases of coronavirus were reported on Long Island Saturday as the cases statewide topped 500.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said the number of cases in her county had risen to 70, up 20 from Friday. Ten people are hospitalized and three are in critical condition. 

She said 244 residents in mandatory quarantine.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County health officials reported 9 new cases, bringing the number there to 37.

On Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to open a drive-through testing site on Long Island by the end of next week, likely at or near Jones Beach

The state's first drive-through testing center, which allows people to be tested from their cars, opened in hard-hit New Rochelle on Friday. In the first day of operation the site handled 150 cars and Cuomo said they plan to book more appointments since testing proceeded faster than expected.​

"It's not only faster and easier, it's also smarter and safer because you're not exposing people to someone who may be positive," Cuomo said. "It's safer to keep them in their car, it's less exposure overall."

The goal of the drive through centers is to keep people out of the emergency rooms and slow the spread of the virus.

"People walk into emergency rooms. That's the last thing you want to do because if you're positive, you now could have infected other people in the emergency room or staff. If you're not positive you don't want to walk into an emergency room because there may be people who are positive there so stay home," Cuomo said.

The governor said they need a large open area to erect the mobile testing sites and Jones Beach has many available parking lots.

On Friday, Curran announced a state of emergency and said the county is stopping evictions by the sheriff and closing the Traffic Enforcement Bureau, meaning no tickets for the next five days.

Museums, pools, rinks and other county facilities are closed. Click here to see the list.

Parks are open.