The first day of coronavirus testing at Bethany Baptist Church, a historic Black congregation in Brooklyn, New York, got off to a slow start. About 130 people showed up Wednesday for diagnostic tests at the temporary testing site, according to Rev. Adolphus C. Lacey.
But by the next day, a socially distanced line stretched down the block outside the church half an hour before the site opened, Lacey said. More than 400 people signed up for antibody testing on Thursday, he said.
“We are swamped,” Lacey, the church’s senior pastor, told HuffPost.
Lacey suspected that appointments would book up quickly until Sunday, when Bethany’s testing site is scheduled to close. But that’s exactly what he had hoped for, the pastor said.
“We’re demonstrating a need,” Lacey said.
Bethany Baptist is one of 11 temporary COVID-19 testing sites that opened at New York churches this week as part of a partnership between the state’s department of health and its largest health care network, Northwell Health. An additional 13 church testing sites will open next week, according to WABC-TV in New York City.
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