Gov. Cuomo orders private labs to coordinate with NYS to increase COVID-19 testing


FILE – In this Tuesday, March 31, 2020 file photo, medical technicians handle a vial containing a nasal swab at a drive-thru testing site in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — The number of people in a hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 is slightly down again — a trend New York has been seeing throughout the week.

After reaching a plateau of about 18,000, the daily number has been dipping below that, with the previous two days’ amounts in the 17,000s.

The rate of new hospitalizations has been around 2,000 per day, but a good sign is that more people are leaving the hospitals than entering them.

In the last day, 630 more coronavirus patients died. 590 of them were hospitalized, while the other 40 were in nursing homes.

In terms of the end of this, Cuomo says that will be when we have a vaccine. The infection rate can’t be tracked, but the hospitalization rate is helping the state determine how soon New York will “re-open.”

Gov. Cuomo is issuing an executive order than calls on private labs to coordinate with the New York State Department of Health for more testing.

“The more testing, the more open the economy,” Cuomo said. The current infection is down to 0.9 from 1.4. That means, on average, one person is infecting less than one other person.

New York will not suddenly reopen with all functions back to normal, though. At both state and federal levels, leaders are planning to re-open in phases.

MORE | President Trump unveils 3-phase plan to reopen economy

When asked about the time he could see New York entering Phase 1 of the federal government’s plan, Cuomo says it’s logical to believe other states will open before New York due to the state’s high amount of infections.

Together, states have requested $500 billion in aid from the federal government, Cuomo says.

Starting Friday night at 8 p.m., all people must wear a face covering while in public, if they are not able to practice proper social distancing.

That means people must wear these coverings if they cannot be six feet or more from someone. This includes anywhere indoors or outdoors, places of public transportation, private carriers and for-hire vehicles.

Schools and non-essential businesses are closed through May 15 due to Cuomo’s New York State on PAUSE order, which was extended again on Thursday.

If you wish to utilize the state’s emotional support hotline at this time, call 1-844-863-9314.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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