MIDWOOD – There will be free COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing inside the Pakistani American Youth Society (PAYS) headquarters on the corner of Newkirk and Coney Island Avenues between 6-8 pm tonight.
Neighbor Anthony Finkel saw there was a need in the Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington community in terms of access to COVID-19 testing, and reached out to several community organizations telling them about his plan. Yosef Hershkop, the manager at Kamin Health Urgent Care in Crown Heights, didn’t hesitate to join the effort. He explained the importance of getting tested.
“It’s to know where we hold. Because if enough people in Brooklyn show up with positive antibodies, the government and scientists can make certain decisions based on that,” he said. “For the COVID testing, it’s a nasal swab. The antibody testing takes 30 seconds; it’s a blood test. Our tests are FDA approved and sent to legitimate labs. We’re not playing any games.”
They decided to host free testing at the PAYS center.
“These tests are one of many planned for the month of June and July. PAYS is also preparing for what is believed to be the second wave of this lethal virus. These projects are entirely community and organizational funded and not a single penny is taken from any level of government,” Asra Rashid, PAYS president said. ” PAYS has set an example of how community-based organizations can come together and take care of all communities. PAYS is hoping that the city and state can partner up and help out in future pandemics and disasters.”
Tonight, despite the rain, neighbors will be gathering in Midwood to get tested for free. To get tested for the coronavirus, or to get tested for the antibodies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. So far, 100 people have registered. The testing will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1001 Newkirk Avenue. If you are not able to make it to this one, there will be many more to come in the upcoming days.
“It’s important for people to get tested because it is important that people know their status. People are fearful of catching COVID, but moreover being asymptomatic and spreading the disease at home amongst their loved ones,” Finkel told Bklyner. “Testing is the best way to know if you should be isolated or if you’ve had COVID and recovered since then. There is also a need for people to donate COVID antibodies, so finding people who have recovered has been a tremendous help.”