City of Mount Vernon to receive New COVID-19 Walk-thru Testing Site
Today, April 16, 2020 the City of Mount Vernon in collaboration with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center (MVNHC) will be opening a new COVID-19 testing center. Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center located at 107 W 4th St, Mt Vernon, NY 10550 will be the location of the new testing site, a tent will be erected in the parking lot to facilitate testing outside of the center. The site will operate as a mobile facility for those who do not have access to a car, this will allow people to use the facility by walking thru instead of pulling up in a car. The testing site will only be open for APPOINTMENT ONLY, NO WALK-IN appointments will be allowed. The hours of operation will be Monday-Friday starting at 9am to 5pm. For those looking for a testing appointment the hotline number is 1–888–364–3065.
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard along with Senator Jamaal Bailey and Senator Alessandra Biaggi, wrote a joint letter on March 31st to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker requesting a testing site in Mount Vernon. Their efforts were bolstered by Senate Majority Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow who expressed the urgency for Mount Vernon and Yonkers and other key communities to have a testing site. A city of over 70,000 people, Mount Vernon is on track to have the second most COVID-19 cases in Westchester County, with 1313 as of April 15. As the only minority-majority city in Westchester County, with approximately 14% of the population over the age of 65, and a large group of residents who have pre-existing conditions, this testing center will provide an opportunity to vulnerable Mount Vernon residents to get tested, save lives and help flatten the curve.
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said, “I am excited for the opening of a walk-thru testing site in Mount Vernon. Our community has been devastated by the impact COVID-19 and this testing site will go a long way to helping us save lives. I’m thankful for the incredible partnership with our Governor Andrew Cuomo and our state elected officials including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senators Bailey and Biaggi and Assemblymen Pretlow who strongly advocated to get this site here in Mount Vernon. I especially want to thank Judith Watson, and the Health Center for leading the way in testing in Mount Vernon. This collaboration is important to ensuring that Mount Vernon is protected against a global pandemic and that our most vulnerable and at-risk residents have access to testing. As Mayor, I will continue to work with our City Council, County Legislators, State and Federal elected to fight for health equity in our community, including the increase of services at Mount Vernon Hospital.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Mount Vernon has been fighting hard against the COVID-19 outbreak. I was very pleased to work with the Mayor and my colleagues in the state legislature to get mount Vernon the testing site it so greatly needed. This is a positive step towards flattening the curve and saving lives. We must ensure that critical services are available to our most vulnerable residents.”
Assemblyman Gary J. Pretlow said, “Over the last few weeks we’ve seen an increase in cases in Mount Vernon that have become a growing concern. I’m happy to see that the residents of Mount Vernon will have a site that they can utilize to get the testing they need. We must continue to ensure our residents have equal access to critical health services.”
Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “I am thrilled to learn that the City of Mount Vernon will be getting a testing site. Mount Vernon, a majority-minority City, has been one of the hardest hit cities in Westchester with COVID-19. Its location on the border of New York City and other hot spot cities in Westchester, leaves Mount Vernon residents at a high risk of contracting the virus. With this new testing site, Mount Vernon residents will now be able to get ahead of the curve and expand their testing capabilities. I would like to thank Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and my colleagues in government for advocating for this site, Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State Department of Health, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins for approving this request.”
Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, “The City of Mount Vernon has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. Within just four-square miles lives over 70,000 residents, and though density is not the sole factor, it is certainly one strong reason why the City has some of the highest numbers of confirmed cases in Westchester County. The implementation of a walk-thru testing facility will save lives, not only because it is a critical tool for the monitoring of this outbreak, but because we must not forget that many communities have residents without access to a car, and therefore cannot make use of existing drive-through testing sites. I have deep gratitude for the collaboration of my colleagues in government, as well as our community partners in obtaining this site, and am inspired by the continued commitment to secure the resources Mount Vernon needs to survive this pandemic.”
CEO of MVNHC Judith Watson, said, “Community health centers have become part of the comprehensive, quality primary care services for the masses of underserved in our community. I’m thankful to the City of Mount Vernon and the State of New York for partnering with us to supply the community with access to COVID-19 testing. We know that in Mount Vernon we have residents who don’t have access to cars and the ability to have a testing site where people can schedule an appointment and walk-thru will open access to vulnerable residents. The Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center stands ready to assist with flattening the curve and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Mount Vernon.”