New Yorkers without cars are on their own – or have to put someone else at risk – if they get sent to a coronavirus drive-thru testing site, according to people who have experienced the problem. After a doctor recommended a test to one New Yorker, the state Department of Health (DOH) directed them to visit a Flatbush testing site. When the healthcare worker heard they were carless, they were advised to either pay hundreds of dollars to get tested through a primary care physician or take a cab or FHV to the testing site.
A different reporter said he witnessed a man being turned away by a state trooper at the same Flatbush drive-thru testing site. Others have complained about different drive-thru sites elsewhere in the city.
Some don’t realize the problem until they arrive on foot. One patient said he got a phone message from the DOH that he had an appointment at the Flatbush testing site, but the message didn’t specify he needed a car to access it. An exasperated state trooper told him he wasn’t the first person who had tried to get in on foot and advised him to hire a car. The person found a willing Uber driver, but the hour-long ride earned the Uber driver a measly $8.75 fare (pre-tip).
Jeffrey Hammond, a DOH spokesperson, didn’t say whether people with coronavirus were being told to put cab drivers at risk, but he did say the state wasn’t currently seeking out testing sites for those without cars. “New Yorkers without a vehicle should contact their family physician or local Federally Qualified Health Center about testing availability,” said Hammond.
In New York City, only about 45% of households own cars.
Source: StreetsBlog NYC