New Mass Vaccination Sites Opening In NYC

The line stretched down the block at one of the city's newest community public vaccination centers in Westchester Square, the Bronx on Saturday morning. CBS2's Christina Fan reports.

Video Transcript

- Some hope this morning for New York nursing homes hit hard by the pandemic. Families will soon be able to visit loved ones, as the governor tries to smooth over the controversy over nursing home deaths.

CBS2's Christina Fan joins us live from Westchester Square in the Bronx with that story. And the new mass vaccination and testing sites. Good morning, Christina.

CHRISTINA FAN: Good morning, Cindy. Well the demand is certainly there. We are at one of the new community pop-up vaccination centers where the line is stretched down the block. This is one of 13 locations the state is opening up this week. Hoping to vaccinate more than 3800 people. Danielle Louis feels a sense of hope that her parents in Brooklyn will finally get vaccinated.

Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights and York College in Jamaica will soon be federally backed vaccination sites. Residents can start booking appointments Saturday and the first shots will be administered Wednesday.

DANIELLE LOUIS: This area is one of the areas that were hit high, with COVID.

CHRISTINA FAN: People who live in the surrounding zip codes will get priority. Then it'll open up to all of Brooklyn and Queens, after one week.

JANLLE YOUNG: And I agree with that, because you had in the beginning, people coming from different areas taking away from the areas that really needed it.

CHRISTINA FAN: 13 community based pop-up vaccination sites are also opening statewide this week, including five locations in the city. Testing is also expanding with 11 new rapid testing sites coming to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO: I believe reopening is going to be accelerated by testing.

CHRISTINA FAN: Test results will be ready in 30 minutes and cost $30 per test for most members of the public.

DR. JON R. COHEN: The rapid testing really does provide New Yorkers the comfort, and actually the safety, to go do the things that we want them to begin to do.

CHRISTINA FAN: Testing will be crucial in resuming visitation in the state's nursing homes. Governor Cuomo says visitors will soon be allowed to see loved ones in facilities like the Hebrew Home in Riverdale.

CEO DANIEL REINGOLD: Just been such a long time that the time for visitation is here. We're just so excited. Our residents are excited.

CHRISTINA FAN: The move is perhaps an olive branch from the governor, who's facing mounting criticism over his handling of nursing homes early in the pandemic. But in typical Cuomo-style, he's also vowing to go after anyone who accuses him of increasing nursing home deaths.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO: You have to knock it down and counter it, and counter it aggressively. Otherwise people will believe it.

CHRISTINA FAN: And the governor says his office will have more information on nursing home visitation next week we're live in the Bronx. Christina Fan, CBS2 News.

- Christina, thank you.