On March 25, 2022, CIANA hosted a Test and Trace Day of Action in Astoria, Queens.
Beginning late Friday morning and continuing all afternoon, hundreds of clients and community members, immigrants and non-immigrants, came to the Key Food on Newtown Avenue, down the street from CIANA’s office, to collect at-home COVID testing kits, masks, PPE, and information about COVID vaccines and CIANA’s services for immigrants.
Since August 2020, CIANA has been part of the NYC Test and Trace Corps, a citywide initiative started by the NYC Health + Hospitals system to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CIANA’s Outreach team has hosted several Days of Action as part of Test and Trace, and has attended many more throughout Queens hosted by other partner organizations.
Previous events have focused on COVID testing, promoting face coverings and PPE, and, in the past 12 months, getting vaccinated. Last Friday’s DoA focused on all these areas, as well as encouraging the community at large to continue to take COVID prevention measures as mask and vaccine mandates are lifted and the citywide positivity rate continues to decline.
At-home COVID tests were in particularly high demand, as they have been since the start of this year. Over the course of the day we gave out over 270 testing kits, as well as nearly 1,000 face coverings, 100 electronic thermometers, and dozens of bottles of hand sanitizer.
Nearly all of CIANA’s staff attended last Friday’s Day of Action. Having worked remotely since December 2021 due to the spread of the Omicron variant, this was the first large gathering of CIANA’s staff in over three months.
In addition to promoting COVID safety measures and CIANA’s own services, we also promoted NYC Care, a free and low-cost healthcare program for New Yorkers who are ineligible for most forms of health coverage, including undocumented immigrants. CIANA has been helping clients enroll in NYC Care since October 2020.
Immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, so CIANA’s work as part of the Test and Trace Corps has been to educate immigrant communities about ways they can protect themselves from the virus, as well as to ease concerns about COVID vaccines.
While the Test and Trace Corps has downsized significantly in the past month, and will continue to do so as COVID cases continue to drop, its CBO outreach program will continue through June. Until then, we hope that CIANA is able to host and attend more events dedicated to ending the pandemic for good.