Finally, New York City has enough diagnostic tests for those who need them.
As of Monday, the city can do 20,000 tests per day and that number is "growing steadily," according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
During his briefing on Monday, he said that about 60,000 New York City-made test kits have been delivered across the five boroughs. There are at least 150 testing sites, including seven outdoor sites by One Medical, and 27 from NYC Health + Hospitals, where anyone who needs one can get one. (CityMD locations make up 123 locations also offering tests, both diagnostic and antibody and are not charging co-pays.)
And because there are so many tests to go around, anyone who needs one can get one.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, there is "a tremendously large universe of people who can get tested." The only requirement is that you either have symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of appetite or smell)—regardless of age, chronic conditions, or—or that you've come into contact with someone who has been infected. You can also get one if you congregate in a residential setting (nursing home, shelter, or adult care facility).
You don't need an appointment if your test is with NYC Health + Hospitals, but you'll need one if you go through One Medical.
The wide availability of tests is actually being seen across the state, according to Governor Cuomo. New York's number of diagnostic tests is much higher than other states and the capacity to process them is extensive as well, with more than 700 testing sites across the state.
New York's drive through and walk-in locations can test 15,000 people a day, but right now they are only testing 5,000 a day.
"There's a general proclivity—some people just don’t like to go to the doctor and don’t like to get tested," Cuomo said during his Sunday briefing. "They have a reluctance to go to a doctor’s office. This is not an invasive test, there's no pain to this test. Nothing about this test that should intimidate people from taking this test."
He then took a diagnostic swab test in front of cameras to demonstrate this.
It’s quick, easy and painless. If I have time, you do too. pic.twitter.com/0ANntppYVK— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 17, 2020
"There's no reason why people shouldn't be getting tested," he said.
Diagnostic testing for a long time wasn't available, but as local providers created them, they had been reserved for people in immediate danger, including those who were already sick and medical professionals.
"We are finally getting the kind of capacity that we need," de Blasio said on Monday. "It's not because of help from Washington but because of our own. I think we're going to see a whole lot of take up on this. I think New Yorkers are hungry to get these answers and understand it is part of the bigger strategy of beating back this disease."
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