Governor Cuomo pushing for rapid testing


ALBANY, NY – As non-essential businesses remain closed and New Yorkers continue to stay home in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve many people are wondering when things will start to re-open.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on what Governor Cuomo says it will heavily rely on.

The Governor says that it will rely largely on testing.

Governor Cuomo is pushing the need for more rapid testing for the coronavirus.

And, the state is also working on an antibody test.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) The key to re-opening is going to be testing. 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. 

Governor Cuomo says that when non-essential businesses do re-open their doors it will be a ‘gradual phased process.’

He say the rate of testing we’re at now is still not enough to ‘re-open on a meaningful scale.’

And, that the federal government should act through the Defense Production Act.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) we need an unprecedented mobilization where government can produce these tests in the millions. 

He doesn’t believe that private companies on their own will be able to come to scale quickly. 

The State Department of Health is also in the process of developing an antibody test.

That would show who has already had the virus and resolved. 

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) Right now the state department of health can do 300 tests a day, 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.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says it would be like any other blood test. 

((Howard Zucker, Health Commissioner)) 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. 

The Governor says he’s interested in partnering with both the federal government and neighboring states New Jersey and Connecticut to get the testing up. 

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