Town OKs Northwell-run testing center in Port

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The Port Washington Adult Activities Center will host a COVID-19 testing cite, following approval from the Town of North Hempstead. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

The Town of North Hempstead has approved a plan to turn the Port Washington Adult Activities Center into a COVID-19 testing site operated by Northwell Health.

Town Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte, whose district includes the Port area, introduced the measure and said that Northwell had been able to open the site through a “very, very generous donation” from the Port-based Peter and Jeri Dejana Foundation.

“So I would like to thank the foundation for doing this with Northwell for the Port Washington residents,” Dalimonte said, just before the resolution passed unanimously with the Town Council.

The approval comes shortly after the Port area crossed the mark of 1,000 COVID cases in the week of Jan. 4, with the village of Manorhaven, where the Adult Activities Center is located, holding the highest case number in all of the Port villages.

The center, which changed the name of its 80 Manorhaven Boulevard home base from the Port Washington Senior Citizens Center in 2019, has largely cut down on its usual offerings of tai chi, strength training, the arts, and classes in fitness and meditation.

In recent months, though, the Adult Activities Center has acted as a Town-designated cooling center in the summer and was one of many Town locations where the St. Francis Hospital Community Outreach Program stopped by in November to give flu shots and health screenings to locals.

No amount regarding the Dejana Foundation donation was revealed at the meeting, and a request for comment to the foundation has not yet been answered.

A start date for the testing at the center has not yet been announced.

Dejana Foundation Executive Director Jean-Marie Posner said in an interview that the foundation had approached Northwell with the idea of a testing center in the Port area.

“The foundation was concerned about long lines and making sure everyone is tested,” she said.

Dejana then donated $1 million to Northwell, and found that Adult Activities Center would be “an ideal location, as it was temporarily closed due to COVID-19.”

Testing will be available to ages 8 and up, and is targeted to benefit residents in the unincorporated areas of Port and in the Port villages.

The Port Washington Adult Activity Center will host COVID-19 testing from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14, Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, Jan 24 to Jan. 28, Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, Feb. 7 to Feb. 11, and Feb. 14 to Feb. 18. Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Interested parties can register by calling 1-833-422-7369.

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