New York to Expand Coronavirus Testing Statewide: Cuomo

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
March 2, 2020COVID-19

NEW YORK—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he will prepare hospitals across the state to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus. His plan is to ultimately increase the number of tests the state can give to 1,000 per day.

However, he also urged New Yorkers to relax in case they’re alarmed.

“I get the emotion, I understand it, I understand the anxiety,” said Cuomo in an effort to extinguish any hysteria. “I’m a native born New Yorker, we live with anxiety, but the facts don’t back it up here.”

His announcement follows the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case. The woman, in her late 30s, quarantined herself with her husband at home after testing positive for the virus she contracted during a visit to Iran.

After news of the infected woman was disclosed, the governor affirmed in a statement that the “general risk level” remains low in the state. But he added officials would check on the driver that brought the woman home from the airport, as well as the passengers who were aboard her flight back to the United States.

A woman wears a mask on Wall Street
A woman wears a mask on Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Feb. 28, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Cuomo also highlighted the importance of having the ability to test for the virus locally. The coronavirus patient’s test was processed at a non-Center for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory in Albany, and according to a press release, that same laboratory will now give instructions to other hospitals on how to test for coronavirus.

As a precaution, the governor said he’ll implement new cleaning measures for schools and public transportation and warned those areas may smell a little more like bleach.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added that he wasn’t surprised the virus made its way to New York.

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