The Peter and Jeri Dejana Foundation COVID-19 testing site in Port Washington is now allowing all Town of North Hempstead residents to get tested at the location. Initially, the site was only for Port Washington residents and expanded to Manhasset residents before making the switch to all town residents.
The testing site is sponsored by a $1 million grant from the Peter and Jeri Dejana Foundation and is run in conjunction with Northwell Health.
“We recognized a critical need and wanted to make sure that anyone who felt they needed to be tested for the COVID-19 virus, that they would have the ability to do that without having to worry about insurance, without having questions as to whether their immigration status and not having to wait on long lines or having to leave the community in order to have these tests done,” Peter and Jeri Dejana Foundation Grant Coordinator Jean Marie Posner said. “Northwell has provided what we consider clinical guidance and they have been terrific to work with, highly professional and very precise with respect to what they’re doing.”
For community members that have testing requirements for their jobs, the testing center is a valuable resource that provides free tests Sunday through Thursday.
“Whether you’re working in a restaurant or you’re working in a beauty salon, this testing becomes a requirement of people continuing to do their jobs because they have to be tested every week, every two weeks,” Posner said. “It really is important that we try to at least cover our communities in this area and be able to offer this to the residents who need it.”
The testing site will be closing on Feb. 25, as vaccinations are expected to increase, but the site has provided a critical need during a once in a century health crisis.
“I think COVID 19 changed a lot of things for people,” Posner stated. “This was the only way we could do it at that time. You know, we were not able to do anything with dispersing the vaccine itself. The next most critical thing would have been to enable people to go for tests and to have the testing site available in a location where it was easily accessible. You could even get there by public transportation. It was a facility that was already closed. It was easy to come in and sanitize it and occupy it and get all the equipment and necessary things together.”
The site is located at the Port Washington Adult Activity Center, 80 Manorhaven Blvd., Port Washington. Registration is required and an appointment can be made at northwell.edu/portwashtesting.