After weeks of demanding federal approval, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the FDA has approved New York State to authorize the state’s 28 public and private labs to begin manual, semi-automated and automated testing for Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The approval also extends to the Roche high-volume platform for testing. The Governor has made increasing capacity a priority, and these approvals will increase the state’s testing capacity dramatically – from 3,000 to date to about 6,000 per day in the next week.
Governor Cuomo also issued an Executive Order to help relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 on workers and assure school aid for schools that have been directed to close. As part of the Governor’s Executive Order, the state will waive the 7-day waiting period for workers to claim unemployment insurance for those that have been put out of work by COVID-19. The Executive Order will also eliminate the aid penalty for schools directed to close by state or local officials or those closed under a state or local declaration of emergency that do not meet 180-day requirements if they are unable to make up school days.
The Governor also directed the New York State Department of Public Service to suspend public utilities from cutting off service – including power and heat – to customers affected by COVID-19. The State’s major utilities will take immediate action to suspend service shutoffs to households during the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to offer deferred payment plans for customers struggling financially due to the outbreak.
“The number one thing we have to do in this state to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus is to increase testing, and the federal government has created a testing bottleneck nationwide with their slow response in lifting restrictions for states to authorize testing,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York State has 28 laboratories that can start testing immediately, and these new approvals will allow the state to dramatically increase testing capacity and get it to where it needs to be to find the positive cases, isolate those individuals and more quickly stop the spread. We’re dealing with the virus, but we’re also dealing with the fear and anxiety New Yorkers are facing, and we’re taking new actions every day as this situation evolves to address both.”
The number one thing we have to do in this state to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus is to increase testingGovernor Cuomo
Finally, the Governor also confirmed 96 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 421 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 421 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows: