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Cuomo, joined by Mayor Van R. Johnson, announces New York state to establish 2 church testing sites in Savannah COVID-19 hotspots

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Mon, Jul 20th 2020 04:30 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced New York will establish two testing sites in COVID-19 hotspots in Savannah, Georgia. The sites, located in Temple of Glory Community Church and Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship, will provide up to 500 tests per day. Both sites are located in highly impacted minority communities. The governor made today's announcement with Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson II.

"When New York state fought what was, at the time, the nation's worst COVID-19 spike, states throughout the country generously provided badly needed supplies, resources and personnel, and we promised that as the virus continued to spread, we'd return the favor," Cuomo said. "That time is here now, and as part of New York state's ongoing commitment to helping cities and states throughout the nation, we're glad to be able to provide two testing sites for highly impacted minority communities in the great city of Savannah, and I thank our hospital partners for providing the expertise to so quickly make this vision a reality."

"Savannah has resolved to follow the science in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our steadfastness remains today with this exciting new partnership with New York state, which will expand testing capacity and PPE supplies in our community," Johnson said. "I'm grateful to Gov. Cuomo and his team for graciously partnering to help us fight back against this devastating virus."

The sites were created with expertise and resources from SOMOS Community Care and Northwell Health. New York will also provide the following supplies:

124,000 surgical masks (50 cases)

7,500 VTM test kits

7,500 gowns

11,500 gloves

7,500 N95 masks

7,500 face shields

2.5 pallets of Styrofoam coolers

1,250 gallons of hand sanitizer

Dr. Ramon Tallaj, chairman and founder of SOMOS Community Care, said, "We are proud to stand with Gov. Cuomo to continue the effort to increase access to testing, especially in vulnerable communities across the country. Our experience catering to the unique needs of diverse populations in New York City will be an asset to Savannah's efforts, and we look forward to our partnership with Mayor Johnson as we continue to fight this deadly disease."

Prior to the announcement, Cuomo and the New York state team shared New York's best practices with Johnson and the Savannah health care team in a meeting. Work between the two teams will continue.

New York has created and implemented a comprehensive strategy to stop the spread and save lives, and the state government shares the strategy with other cities and states around the country. The strategy includes:

  • Testing
  • Tracing
  • Hospital capacity
  • PPE and medical equipment
  • Staffing
  • Regional coordination (with neighboring states)
  • Masks and social distancing
  • Phased, data-driven reopening

The Savannah testing sites add to New York state's commitment to helping other cities and states fight COVID-19 across the country. Last Thursday, Cuomo announced that New York has established two church testing sites in COVID-19 hotspots in Houston. On July 13, the governor announced New York will send testing and contract tracing teams to Atlanta. On July 10, Cuomo announced New York would send the COVID-19 medication Remdesivir to Florida as the state struggles with a resurgence of cases.

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