Hotel offering rapid COVID-19 tests to its customers hosts rooftop parties
The Ravel Hotel in Long Island City is in hot water after hosting a number of noisy weekend parties in its rooftop pool lounge, reports Gothamist. People flocked to the roof after it opened on June 25, in part because it announced rapid COVID-19 testing for all customers before entry. Once inside, the social distancing measures seemed extremely relaxed – many clients were filmed without masks and standing in crowded areas around the pool lounge.
Rapid tests have been touted by the hotel as creating a “haven” for revelers, but Gothamist reports that the process, called Abbott tests, has been questioned by the FDA and other experts in the field for its rate of inaccuracy in detecting the virus. The medical partner with whom the hotel works to administer the tests has also been criticized for overcharging laboratory costs for COVID-19 tests in the past. Ravel’s tests cost customers $ 35 with insurance and $ 50 without insurance, and some people had to wait up to an hour and a half to get their results before they could enter the salon.
Hotel co-owner Seth Levine told Gothamist that Ravel “never guaranteed that what we do is 100% effective.”
An official with the mayor’s office told the publication that the city is following the hotel owners to make sure they meet guidelines for social distancing, and the city’s nightlife office confirmed that ‘They had also responded to Ravel’s complaints and were in contact with the operators on the situation.
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