Bill introduced to bring portable heaters for patients waiting outside NYC health clinics

As cold temperatures begin to settle in, waiting on long lines outside health clinics and urgent care centers will soon become difficult.

News 12 Staff

Nov 20, 2020, 3:13 AM

Updated 1,280 days ago

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City legislation introduced a bill Thursday in hopes to bring outdoor heating to medical facilities across the city.
As cold temperatures begin to settle in, waiting on long lines outside health clinics and urgent care centers will soon become difficult.
The line outside CityMD on Southern Boulevard had a two and a half hour wait at one point on Thursday.
Bronx Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. introduced a bill that would allow medical facilities to have portable heaters on the sidewalk to keep patients warm while waiting to be seen.
"It’s an inconvenience to stand on line for hours to get tested in the cold," he says.
Kolie Forest, one of the many residents waiting in line at the CityMD, told News 12 that she agrees that heaters are essential.
"Especially for the older people and the younger people, it would make sense because it could just be a cold, but if it's not and they're sitting here and they're getting worse, that could actually add to it," she says.
Lines for Urban Health Plan on Southern Boulevard aren't as long because the facility is 90,000 square feet. However, Senior Administrator Alejandro Sonera says, "Even if it's just five to 10 minutes, when the weather is 20 degrees versus 50 degrees, it has an impact."
Councilman Salamanca says with COVID-19 numbers rising and public schools closing, New Yorkers are being encouraged to get tested routinely, but they aren't going to if they're freezing.
“We have to figure out a way to make it convenient so that Bronxites can come and get tested and, passing this bill, which is a common sense bill, makes it convenient for Bronxites to get tested," he says.


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