NYC Mayor says that COVID-19 Testing will Triple Within Weeks
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced major increases in COVID-19 diagnostic testing throughout the city. This would be part of the grand push towards testing on a massive scale. A goal targeted by the Mayor as well as NY Governor Andrew Cuomo who’ve both spoken on this subject on a near daily basis through each leader’s respective press conferences.
The mayor this morning, “We’re able to use this simpler self-swab test, the expansion is really moving, so 11 sites now will be 30 sites by the week of May 18th, and we’ll be able to triple the number of tests given each week, so now we’re at about 14,000 tests per week. Again, getting faster, the more we do it more efficient, the more we do it, by the week of May 4th it’ll be 35,000 tests a week, by the week of May 18th, 43,000 tests a week, and we want to go a lot farther from there.”
The “simpler self-swab test” referred to above, is that which he talked about on Monday. It would be a method that would minimize contact between patients and healthcare workers, thus allowing the City to test more New Yorkers without putting healthcare workers and patients at further risk.
Mr. de Blasio also mentioned the addition of new community testing sites with greater focus on those individuals with pre-existing conditions. Such sites include eight at Health and Hospitals clinics and three at NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority).
According to the Mayor, there are now 11 community sites open. A number, he said would triple to 30 sites by the week of May 18th.
A question I’ve wanted to raise at the press conferences concerns Governor Cuomo’s expanded criteria for testing. He recently stated how essential workers would now be able to get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. This would apply not merely to New York’s healthcare workers and others on the front line of the crisis but, as well, those working in any public facing capacity; including pharmacy workers, grocery workers and all others of the like. What we’d like to know is how many of these individuals have been notified and how will they be notified? Does the NYC Health Department know of every single individual who needs to be made aware of this chance to be tested?