Issues Executive Order Allowing Pharmacists to Conduct Diagnostic Testing for COVID-19
State is Conducting Antibody Testing for Frontline Health Care Workers at Four New York City Hospitals and Health Care Systems
State Will Conduct Antibody Testing for First Responders and Transit Workers Starting Next Week
Confirms 10,553 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 282,143; New Cases in 57 Counties
Governor Cuomo: "We've said thank you to the first responders, and we meant it sincerely, and saying thank you is a good start. People want to know that they're appreciated. But even better than saying thank you, actions speak louder than words, right? So show me that you're thankful, and act like you're thankful, and get me the help I need. I'm out here doing my job, it's my public duty, I get it, but I'm sacrificing myself, I'm sacrificing my family, at least show me support. And support is you have the equipment you need, you have the tools you need, and we're going to get you testing on a priority basis, because you deserve it."
Cuomo: "Generations are called upon to deal with high levels of difficulty. We are called upon to deal with this crisis. Day 56. 1918 pandemic went on for two years. We're on day 56. World War I went on for four years. The Great Depression went on for four years. You want to talk about economic anxiety? You want to talk about people losing homes, not being able to feed themselves. People living in camps. People living in cars. World War II, six years. Vietnam War, that intensity every night, every night have to hear about the tragedies, went on for eight years. I get 56 days is a long time. I get it's the worst thing that we have experienced in modern history. I get that, but just a little bit of perspective."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the state is expanding diagnostic testing criteria to include more frontline New York workers - a direct result of rapidly increasing diagnostic testing capacity. The expanded criteria will now allow all first responders, health care workers and essential employees to be tested for COVID-19 even if they aren't symptomatic. The state will continue to expand testing criteria as testing capacity increases.
Governor Cuomo also announced he will issue an Executive Order allowing pharmacists to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19. This action will unlock a network of over 5,000 pharmacies as COVID-19 testing locations and help the state build a collection network to meet laboratory capacity and increase overall testing capacity.
The Governor also announced the state is continuing to conduct antibody testing for frontline health care workers, including at four hospitals and health care systems in New York City today. The antibody testing will be conducted at Bellevue Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital Center, Montefiore Medical Center and SUNY Downstate Medical Center which is currently being used only for COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the state will begin conducting NG antibody testing for first responders and transit workers starting next week, including MTA employees and transit workers, New York State Police and the New York City Police Department.
AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.
PHOTOS are available on the Governor's Flickr page.