According to the latest data from the Department of Health, Staten Island has the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, making it the borough with the highest rate of transmission.
Staten Island has the most city-run sites per capita in New York City, but residents say it's not enough, based on the amount of cases the borough is seeing.
On Wednesday, Staten Islander Gina Cain said she had been waiting over an hour to get a COVID-19 test at a city-run testing site when we spoke with her.
“I think this is horrible, they can only take five people every 20 to 25 minutes,” said Cain. “I don't feel well. My body’s aching. I have a 104 temp. I don't feel well.”
She doesn't believe there are enough options for Staten Islanders to get tested, and she's not alone.
“Staten Island is the forgotten borough,” said local Regina Burns. “I think that if they know the COVID rates are so high here we need to have more of a priority. Even the mobile buses here, I think they need to have more spread out.”
Nicole Rossilli visited the mobile site at Wolfe’s Pond Park, where she said she had been waiting over a half hour.
“There’s not enough,” Rossilli said, referring to the testing sites. “There’s large amounts in one place and then another place on Staten Island just doesn’t have any. It's crazy.”
She said her wait for a test on Wednesday was nothing compared to the recent wait times she experienced in the borough.
“On Sunday, I went to get tested on the Greenbelt site and in the past it's been a great site and something happened and it took four hours to get tested,” said Rossilli.
The Staten Island borough president's office tells NY1 that two mobile sites have opened on the South Shore of Staten island.
A spokesperson for the NYC Test and Trace Corps said, "SI had the most brick & mortar testing sites pre-omicron of any borough and we have continued to seek testing partners on Staten Island to host additional sites."
But Cain says she believes long wait times during the cold weather are just adding to the problem.
“If people are sick they’re not gonna wait on a line this long. Like I’m very close to walking on this line, but then that’s bad cause you’re gonna go to work and be around people.”
Also on Wednesday, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis announced a plan to help with testing in the borough.
Her office is partnering with local pharmacies and medical facilities to expand access to PCR tests.