BOROUGHWIDE — With over 729 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York State, 329 in New York City and the first reported death in the state of an 82-year-old woman from Brooklyn, on Friday, March 13, the Food and Drug Administration approved expanded coronavirus testing for New York with 28 testing locations throughout the five boroughs. Prior to this there were only two labs, one located in New York City and the other in Albany with a capacity to serve only 60 people a day.
Rose pushes for additional testing
“Following this morning’s announcement, I spoke with senior FDA leadership to continue pushing them to certify and approve additional testing equipment and drastically increase the availability of reagents for test kits,” said U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
“While it should’ve happened much sooner, the FDA’s announcement to give New York necessary approvals and flexibility is a critical step. But let me be clear, we’re behind the 8-ball and playing catch-up. I will not stop fighting until coronavirus testing is widely available and capacity matches the demand,” Rose added.
Gov. Cuomo announced on Monday that Staten Island would be the first of the five boroughs to receive a drive-thru testing site following a request from Rose.
The FDA announced that it is not objecting to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) authorizing certain laboratories in New York to begin patient testing. Additionally, the FDA provided authorization for laboratories to immediately begin to run automated tests on Roche’s high-volume platform.
Malliotakis voices her support for FDA testing
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Brooklyn’s lone Republican lawmaker also voiced her support for expanded FDA testing.
“The testing is a big deal,” Malliotakis told this paper. I wrote a letter to the Gov. Cuomo yesterday requesting more testing capacity online. We’ve been pushing the FDA to approve private labs. Testing needs to be more widespread.”
Malliotkais said that the two main issues were bringing more private labs online to expand testing capacity, and also getting the approval from the FDA to use automation instead of doing it manually.
“The governor has been pushing for this and I wrote a letter to Health & Human Services as well. On Friday morning we found out they had approved it. So now we can do more widespread testing and also get quicker results. The governor has contracted with 28 Northwell Health Labs in the state so this is a big step with labs in all five boroughs,” added Malliotakis.
For locations of Northwell Health Labs go to northwell.edu