A flop once more… That’s the story as RIOC’s Swift Rapid RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery opened its doors on Day One.
By David Stone
Yesterday, RIOC again tried its hand at managing a COVID-19 rapid testing site, its partner still there but expunged in name. Swift Emergency Medical is off the title, but its legacy is firmly in place.
Since the testing site costs residents a stunning $68K per month and the move to an art gallery was so strange, we thought it our duty to check the first day’s operations.
With the super-expensive testing site opened for an hour, we wandered over past the New York State Shelton J. Haynes Parking Area. With money no object for the state agency, they’d taken the trouble of sprucing it up for the boss.
The assignment: Count the visitors coming in for nose swabs for a representative hour.
That was generous, really. RIOC is on record saying their rapid testing site welcomes well over 500 test-takers, every week, over 2,000 per month, at an expense of roughly $35 each.
But this week is different. With coronavirus restrictions lifting, Americans are flocking to planes, trains and so forth for the holiday weekend. Proof of recent COVID-19 tests is critical. And with testing shut down for a week, demand must’ve built up.
We got there early, just after 10:00 a.m., making sure we caught that early rush.
A flop once more? On the scene…
Mary Cunneen, who as far as we can tell manages the site for RIOC, was already present, handling a phone call. To be fair, with its commitment to extreme secrecy over how it spends our money, RIOC has never said who is directly responsible for the testing site.
But Cunneen was there, and she previously presented details and asked for funding before the sleepy board of enablers.
Assured operations were at full throttle, PSD guard on hand along with RIOC management and medical staff, we sat down nearby and watched, counting scrupulously.
A few acquaintances passed during that hour, and although a couple chatted, we stuck to the task at hand.
We calculated using the most modern equipment for accuracy.
And lickedy-splitly, we had the answer… How many test-takers visited the Roosevelt Island COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site in that critical hour…?
Off to a fast start with only 124 more to go in reaching their reported daily average…
A flop once more, the testing site managed processing one person in that hour.
On a positive note…
…there was time for socializing.
And to be fair, a welcome sight…
A PSD officer confronted a bicyclist on the sidewalk, firmly ordering him to dismount.
This had nothing whatsoever to do with the rapid testing site, but we love positive news about RIOC and PSD when we can find it.
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