Cuomo Says State, US to Double Virus Testing

 Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday night that the state would partner with the federal government to double testing capacity for the novel-coronavirus. His statement came after a meeting with President Trump.

Governor Cuomo: “Testing is the best way to inform and educate yourself as you go through the reopening process so you can watch not just hospitalizations … but also testing so you can look at the infection rate across the state and see how the infection rate is increasing.”

Cuomo said the goal is to double the number of tests from the current  average of 20,000 a day.

“The problem with testing and bringing testing up to scale has been the national manufacturers of the equipment who make the testing kits that they have to send to the state labs so the state labs can actually perform them. Those are done by national manufacturers. The national manufacturers have said they have a problem with the supply chain to quickly ramp up those tests. … That is where the federal government can help. … Let the federal government take responsibility for that federal supply chain for the national manufacturers. That’s what we agreed in this meeting,” Cuomo said.

He said the meeting  “was very productive and it was positive and we got a lot done.”

He announced earlier in the day that elective outpatient treatments can resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term. Hospitals will be able to resume performing elective outpatient treatments on April 28 if the hospital capacity is over 25 percent for the county and if there have been fewer than 10 new hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in the county over the past 10 days. And patients must test negative for the virus. No counties in the New York City area are eligible to resume.

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