ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said more rapid testing for the coronavirus is key to flattening the curve.
“The key to reopening [the state] is going to be testing,” the Governor said. “I’ve said that from day one. It’s not going to be a light switch where you flip this economy like you flip a light switch.”
Cuomo said that when non-essential businesses do reopen, it will be a “gradual phased process.” He said the current rate of testing is not enough to “reopen on a meaningful scale.”
He also said the federal government should act through the Defense Production Act.
“We need an unprecedented mobilization where government can produce these tests in the millions,” he said.
Cuomo doesn’t believe that private companies on their own will be able to come to scale quickly. The New York State Department of Health is also in the process of developing an antibody test that would show who has already had the virus and it has resolved.
“Right now the state department of health can do 300 tests a day,” Cuomo said. “By next Friday, they’ll be able to do 1,000, 2,000 tests the following week. That’s great. Sounds like a lot but 2,000 tests are still a drop in the bucket.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said it would be like any other blood test.
“We’re working on a way to do a finger stick or a heel stick very much like we do newborn screening tests and use that blood spot as a test,” he explained.
The Governor saids he’s interested in partnering with both the federal government and neighboring states New Jersey and Connecticut to increase testing.
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