As the daily death toll from COVID-19 moved back to a level not seen since March, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo encouraged people who think they might be eligible for testing for the virus to visit a new website the state has created.
“We’re now at 40,000 tests per day. So that’s May 17,” Cuomo said. “We started with about 6,000 tests. So, we now have a really significant number of tests that we can do so much, so that per capita we are doing more than other countries – significantly more.”
Cuomo said there’s a new partnership with CVS to bring testing to more than 60 pharmacies across the state, each of which could conduct 50 tests per day. He urged people who are involved with businesses cleared to reopen to get tested along with anyone who may have symptoms of being infected by the virus.
“There is no pain to this test,” Cuomo said of the test in which a long swab is used to retrieve a sample from inside of the nose. “There is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test. It is fast, it is easy.” To demonstrate the point, Cuomo was tested on the spot by Dr. Elizabeth Dufort.
Cuomo said there were 139 new deaths from the virus in New York, with 33 in nursing homes and 106 in hospitals. The three-day rolling average of new hospitalizations declined to 374 with 5,897 people in hospitals being treated for the virus in New York as of Saturday.
Cuomo expressed concern that the number of cases of children affected by the inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 is greater than is currently known. He said that there were about 120 cases in the state but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reported Sunday that the city itself has 139 cases.
Cuomo said that New Yorkers in need of emotional support can call 1-844-863-9314 and schedule a free appointment with a mental health professional.
“This is nothing to be ashamed of ever in life, but especially now. Of course there’s going to be mental health issues and of course people are going to have stress that they need to work through and anxiety that they need to work through,” Cuomo said. “Nothing to be ashamed of ever, but especially now.”
Cuomo reported that the state has distributed more than 3 million free bottles of the hand sanitizer it has been manufacturing under the brand name NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer. More than 275,000 bottles went to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 188,492 bottles to the New York City Housing Authority, more than 117,000 bottles to food banks, 32,512 bottles to farms and 24,060 bottles to BOCES.
Statewide there have been a total of 22,619 COVID-19 deaths according to statistics obtained this afternoon from the state Department of Health. Deaths in Westchester total 1,412. Rockland saw 475 of its residents fall victim to the virus. There were 59 deaths in Putnam. There have been 347 deaths recorded in Orange County and 127 in Dutchess.
New York has had 350,121 people test positive for the virus. There were 32,224 cases identified in Westchester, 12,758 in Rockland, 1,136 in Putnam, 9,943 in Orange and 3,543 in Dutchess.