Coronavirus News: Bilingual walk-thru testing site opens in Washington Heights

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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Joe Torres with more on the first bilingual walk-thru testing site opened in Washington Heights on Monday.

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- People lined up Monday afternoon outside of Somos Community Care in Washington Heights.

Staffers opened an appointment-only, bilingual coronavirus testing site in the largely Latino neighborhood.

The site on Amsterdam Avenue targets one of the hardest-hit communities for testing.

The group running the site is advocating for more easily accessible bilingual testing for communities battling the virus.

There are two drive-thru multilingual testing sites being run by the same organization in the Bronx and Queens.

The pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on black and brown communities, home to many essential workers.

"It's very important for this local community. Most of the people are living under the poverty line, they don't have a car. They can't go to remote areas for drive through testing," Dr. Henry Chen of SOMOS Community Care said.

At city hall, Mayor de Blasio canceled of non-essential permitted events scheduled for the month of June. And that includes some very high-profile, well-attended events like the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, the 50th anniversary Pride March and the Celebrate Israel Parade.

After his daily coronavirus briefing, the mayor visited the Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island to oversee the delivery of some much-needed personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals.

It is exactly those front-line workers who heard some welcome news from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The state's chief executive proposed hazard pay for people risking their own lives to help those in need.

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