July 16, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces New York State Establishes Two Church Testing Sites in Houston COVID-19 Hotspots

Governor Cuomo Announces New York State Establishes Two Church Testing Sites in Houston COVID-19 Hotspots

Sites in Northwest Houston and Southwest Houston Operational for Two Weeks and Provide Up to 1,000 Tests Per Day

Residents can Call 1-833-NYS-4TEX

Photos Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has established two church testing sites in COVID-19 hotspots in Houston, Texas. The sites, located in Northwest Houston's Fallbrook Church and Southwest Houston's Higher Dimension Church, are in highly-impacted minority communities, are up and running, and will be operational for two weeks, with the capacity for up to 1,000 tests per day. New York State sent more than 20 healthcare workers and public health experts to Houston to consult on the city's COVID-19 response and has also provided supplies. The governor made today's announcement on a conference call with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"When New York went through the unprecedented challenge and unimaginable tragedy of COVID-19's apex in the state, states throughout the country provided supplies, ventilators and personnel during our time of greatest need," Governor Cuomo said. "Now that New York's numbers have stabilized, we're returning the favor across the country, and I am glad to be able to help the great city of Houston establish two testing sites in vulnerable communities. I thank our incredible partners for their efforts to establish the sites and provide supplies and expertise."

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, "Thank you, Governor Cuomo. And let me just start out by acknowledging and thanking you for the leadership that you provided to the State of New York and quite frankly, the leadership that you provided to all of us across the country. I've watched your daily briefings on a regular basis. I learned a lot from what you have done and your people have done in New York, so let me commend all of you for your efforts. Let me also thank you for the support that you all are providing to the City of Houston here in Harris County. As you indicated, we are facing a situation where our numbers have surged. More people have been testing positive, showing up in our hospitals and our ICUs. Testing is a big issue. And you're also right that this virus is having a disproportional impact on communities of color, low-income communities, and where even more testing is needed. And people—a lot of people—who are wanting testing, needing testing and they've having to wait a long time. So, let me thank you and your team for reaching out."

The sites were established with the support of SOMOS Community Care, NorthwellHealth, the Greater New York Hospital Association, the Mount Sinai Health System, Montefiore Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Kenneth E. Raske, President, Greater New York Hospital Association, said, "When COVID-19 slammed New York, our hospitals and their heroic workers treated an unthinkable number of extremely ill patients. When we needed help, equally heroic caregivers came to New York and delivered care with grace, courage, and determination. Now it's time to reciprocate the generosity of colleagues, friends, and family across the country. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, workers from New York's hospitals are hitting the ground in Houston to help deliver care and save lives. GNYHA salutes their selfless generosity and sacrifice, and is proud to partner with the Governor on this important mission."

"We will go where we are needed," said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, the Chairman of SOMOS, an immigrant-led network of over 2,500 doctors across New York City. "Immigrant doctors were the first line of defense as COVID-19 hit New York's lower-income communities of color and we are determined to share the findings of this ongoing experience with similar communities across the country. We are at the ready to support Governor Cuomo and the State of New York as they assist Houston officials and those across urban and rural areas in the Sun Belt connect Latino, Asian and African American populations to testing, care, health education and community resources. SOMOS doctors conducted the first national research into COVID-19's impact on immigrant communities, and how to best reach and test these populations and we will share best practices with every American that needs them."

The Houston testing sites add to New York State's commitment to helping other cities and states fight COVID-19 across the country. On Monday, Governor Cuomo announced New York State will send testing and contract tracing teams to Atlanta, Georgia. On July 10, Governor Cuomo announced New York State would send the COVID-19 medication Remdesivir to Florida as the state struggles with a resurgence of cases.


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