Mobile testing site launched in Rego Park 1

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), left, CAIPA Chairman George Liu, Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and CAIPA staff unveiled the second Queens mobile testing site in Rego Park on May 13.

The Coalition of Asian-American Independent Physicians Associations opened another COVID-19 Mobile Rapid Testing Center on May 13, making it the second Queens location and the fourth in the city.

“There is no shortage of empathy and generosity from the CAIPA organization. I am fortunate to consider them my partner in bringing safety and security back to my constituents,” Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Flushing), who has been working with the organization to implement various locations throughout the borough, said at the launch.

The Rego Park MRTC, located in the parking lot across the street from Rego Center at 61-35 Junction Blvd., aims to increase testing capacity for low-income and working-class families who may otherwise not have access to the four other testing options — visiting an ER, primary care provider, testing tent or drive-through testing site.

“This testing model is also specifically designed to allow our community-based physicians to avoid the exposure and contamination of COVID in their offices. Hence, they can identify and care for mild or moderately severe infected patients without the risk of closing their offices which would add to the burden of overcrowded emergency rooms and hospitals,” CAIPA shared in a statement to the Chronicle. “The need to increase testing is essential to prevent a second wave of viral explosion.”

The Rego Park location follows the launch of the initial Flushing MRTC, which sits on the sidewalk outside 136-25 37 Ave. The model involves zero contact between testee and tester and limits the risk of cross-contamination and spread that CAIPA said is present in the four other testing options. It mimics one implemented in South Korea, which reported its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 20, the same day the U.S. did, but has reported nearly 94.3 percent fewer cases and 98.3 percent fewer deaths compared to New York City alone as of May 19.

“As I have been saying, testing is vital to combating the outbreak of COVID-19,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who was present for both borough launchings, told the Chronicle in an email. “It is absolutely critical that we expand testing throughout our communities, and this new site will help move us closer towards accomplishing that goal.”

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