Mayor Johnson & Gov. Cuomo Establish Church Testing Sites In Savannah COVID-19 Hotspots

L-R: Gov. Cuomo (NY) & Mayor Van Johnson
L-R: Gov. Cuomo (NY) & Mayor Van Johnson

Mayor Van R. Johnson, II and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday, July 20th that New York State will establish two testing sites in COVID-19 Hotspots in Savannah. The sites, located in Temple of Glory Community Church and Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship, will provide up to 500 tests per day. Both sites are located in highly-impacted minority communities.

“Savannah has resolved to follow the science in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, our steadfastness remains today with this exciting new partnership with New York State, which will expand testing capacity and PPE supplies in our community,” said Mayor Van R. Johnson, II. “I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and his team for graciously partnering to help us fight back against this devastating virus.”

“When New York State fought what was, at the time, the nation’s worst COVID-19 spike, states throughout the country generously provided badly needed supplies, resources and personnel, and we promised that as the virus continued to spread, we’d return the favor,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That time is here now, and as part of New York State’s ongoing commitment to helping cities and states throughout the nation, we’re glad to be able to provide two testing sites for highly-impacted minority communities in the great city of Savannah, and I thank our hospital partners for providing the expertise to so quickly make this vision a reality.”

The sites were created with expertise and resources from SOMOS Community Care and Northwell Health. New York State will also provide the following supplies: 124,000 Surgical Masks (50 cases), 7,500 VTM Test Kits, 7,500 Gowns, 11,500 Gloves, 7,500 N95 Masks, 7,500 Face Shields, 2.5 Pallets of Styrofoam Coolers, and 1,250 Gallons of Hand Sanitizer.

Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Chairman and Founder of SOMOS Community Care, said, “We are proud to stand with Governor Cuomo to continue the effort to increase access to testing, especially in vulnerable communities across the country. Our experience catering to the unique needs of diverse populations in New York City will be an asset to Savannah’s efforts, and we look forward to our partnership with Mayor Johnson as we continue to fight this deadly disease.”

Prior to the announcement, Gov. Cuomo and the New York State team shared New York’s best practices with Mayor Johnson and the Savannah health care team in a meeting, and the work between the two teams will continue.

New York has created and implemented a comprehensive strategy to stop the spread and save lives, and the state government shares the strategy with other cities and states around the country. The strategy includes: Testing, Tracing, Hospital Capacity, PPE and Medical Equipment, Staffing, Regional Coordination (with neighboring states), Masks and Social Distancing, and Phased, Data-Driven Reopening.

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