CVS opening additional test sites
On Sunday, the governor’s office posted a site where people can find coronavirus test sites by ZIP code. Click HERE.
Per the site, “New York state continues to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 on a daily basis. The guidance below enables New York state to prioritize resources to meet the public health need. Individuals who have questions regarding eligibility or access for testing should call the New York state COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov.
“Please call the testing site or your health care provider before you go for testing.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York has doubled testing capacity to reach 40,000 diagnostic tests per day, and encouraged eligible New Yorkers to visit the new website to find a nearby testing site.
“Throughout this entire pandemic, testing was key to controlling the virus and now it will be key to monitoring the virus as we begin reopening in regions across the state," Cuomo said. "New York has worked aggressively to build a massive statewide sample collection network and is now testing more than any state or country per capita, but our new problem is we have more sites and capacity than we're actually using. The more New Yorkers get tested, the better – and we are going to ensure to all individuals who will return to the workplace in phase one of our reopening plan have access to testing, and we are launching a new website to make it easier for New Yorkers to find nearby testing sites."
This announcement comes three weeks after the governor announced an agreement for the state to work with the federal government to grow New York's daily testing capacity from 20,000 tests a day to 40,000 tests a day.
The state's diagnostic testing criteria now includes all individuals who would return to the workplace in phase one of the state's reopening plan. New Yorkers eligible for diagnostic testing now include:
New Yorkers can visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing and enter their address to view a list and a map view of the nearest testing sites. The state has also partnered with Google Maps to display testing site results. New Yorkers can search "COVID testing near me" on Google Maps to easily find the nearest testing sites.
Cuomo said, “On the reopening strategy, we've said all along that it's data driven and a big piece of the data driven strategy is the testing component.”
He also announced New York is partnering with CVS to bring testing to more than 60 CVS pharmacies across the state. Each site will be able to conduct 50 or more tests per day.
A press release on the CVS website dated May 14 stated, "While the large-scale test sites we’ve been operating since early April have proven successful, this new approach allows us to utilize our presence in communities across the country and bring testing closer to home," said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Health. "Our frontline employees will continue to play a critical role in the testing process, with members of their communities directly benefitting from their dedication and selflessness.”
“Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com … to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
“Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.”
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Speaking Wednesday on LCTV, Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh said, “We know that, as we continue to test more people, those numbers for the overall infection rate continue to decrease in the area. Again, that is good news; that means that what we have been doing is working. And we can see better where we stand when more individuals are tested; that gives us better data to make decisions by.
“We've seen quite a bit of expansion of testing in the area over just the last few weeks, and the Niagara County Department of Health has put together a list for you of all those testing sites that are available within Niagara County.”
“If you want to get tested I suggest that you do. Guidelines are very broad now as far as who can be tested. The governor encourages everyone to get tested; especially individuals, of course, who have symptoms should be tested as soon as possible. Those of you who are frontline workers and around a lot of people already should be getting tested, and any individual who is ready to go back to work in the phase one reopening process, the governor tells us, is now eligible, as well.
“Obviously, testing and those numbers that we get back is a major component in the reopening of Western New York and our region and those metrics from the governor that we need to meet.”