Bilingual coronavirus testing site opens in Washington Heights

SOMOS Community Care, a nonprofit health care provider, is providing free COVID-19 and antibody testing to New Yorkers.

Established in 2014, SOMOS is a network of 2,400 physicians who care for almost 1 million patients in underserved communities across New York City. Dr. Ramon Tallaj, the founder and chairman, said the doctors care for their patients in a holistic way.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, SOMOS jumped into action by providing telemedicine so that residents, no matter their status, can call and receive medical attention and education on COVID-19 in different languages. (The number to call is 833-SOMOS-NY.)

SOMOS has set up free drive-thru testing sites in Queens and the Bronx. They started testing 100 patients a day and now test more than 1,000 daily.

"In Queens, we found out was 70% of those patients were positive,” Dr. Tallaj said.


On Monday, the first bilingual COVID-19 walking testing site opened in Washington Heights, where the majority of the residents are Hispanic.

SOMOS Community Care is expanding and opening more antibody testing sites. Currently, there is one in Franklin Square, Long Island. The next two will be coming to Brooklyn and the Bronx.

"We have 55,000 free tests that we will be doing,” Dr. Tallaj said.

Aside from giving the community the medical attention it needs, SOMOS is also providing free meals. It has partnered with José Andres's World Central Kitchen and Maestro Cares foundation, founded by Mark Anthony, serving 2,500 meals a day, six days a week.



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