Pharmacies across New York will soon be able to conduct coronavirus tests.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday he’s signing an executive order directing more than 5,000 pharmacies across the state to conduct diagnostic tests for coronavirus.
On top of that, Cuomo said the state will begin antibody testing frontline healthcare workers at four major New York City hospitals, including Bellevue Hospital and the hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
The state will also start antibody testing for transit workers and first responders, with first responders being given priority starting next week.
Widespread access to testing, as Cuomo has said, is one of the crucial roadblocks to reopening the economy.
“Testing is what we are compulsively, obsessively focused on now,” Cuomo said on Saturday from Albany, adding that the state has been conducting approximately 20,000 tests per day.
Cuomo called the coronavirus pandemic — now on day 56 — “the worst thing we have experienced in modern history.”
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- The number of deaths ticked slightly upward on Saturday to 437, up from 422 reported on Friday.
- The state reported 1,184 new hospitalizations, Cuomo said, hitting the same mark as 21 days ago.
- “Call it flat with a sad decline, if you are looking for a silver lining,” Cuomo said. “This is just terrible, terrible, horrific news.”
- “We would like to get back to the days when only 400, 500 people were showing new infections everyday,” Cuomo said.
- Statewide, the case total is now at 282, 143, per the New York Department of Health.
- “This is a terrible experience to go through, but we will manage it, we will handle it, and we will be the better for it,” Cuomo said.