Oct 9, 2020
- From day one, testing has been among the most vital tools we have to accurately assess â and slow â COVID-19's spread in New York. Today, we are building on our nation-leading testing program by deploying an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits in every corner of the state. These rapid test kits â that take 15 minutes to get a result and do not require sending a specimen to a lab â will be available to every county in New York State, including to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care providers.
The rapid tests can be used to control new outbreaks, conduct surveillance testing and help schools in "yellow zones" test students and staff, one of the new requirements of the Cluster Action Initiative to monitor COVID-19 spread. These rapid test kids will assist health care institutions throughout the state to quickly spot outbreaks and keep families and communities safe. Rapid testing is one tool in our battle with this virus. As always it must be used in combination with mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing. Together, using all tools, we can stop the spread.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. We are carefully watching the total COVID hospitalizations. Yesterday, there were 779 total hospitalizations. Of the 139,300 tests reported yesterday, 1,526, or 1.14 percent, were positive. The average positivity rate in the 20 hot spot ZIP codes in Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland and Orange Counties was 5.4 percent. The statewide positivity rate, excluding these ZIPs, was 0.90 percent. Sadly, we lost six New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Search to see if you live or work in a Cluster Action Initiative Zone. As part of our Cluster Action Initiative, there are new restrictions in six clusters in the State, which allow us to stop the spread from these clusters and protect our progress in the fight against COVID-19. Look up your address to see if you live or work in a COVID-19 Hot Spot Zone where there are new restrictions. Maps of the six cluster zones can be found here.
3. Ads from the "Mask Up America" campaign have been seen 38 million times. The national campaign, with videos featuring the voices of Paul Rudd, Billy Crystal, Ellen Pompeo, Anthony Mackie and more, have aired on TVs across the country more than 115,000 times. Watch the entire PSA campaign here.
4. The deadline to register to vote is midnight tonight, October 9. If you're not sure you are registered, you can look it up here. If you already registered, take a moment to make sure any younger relatives or friends are aware of the deadline. New Yorkers can register online here if they have a valid form of NYS-issued ID, or by mailing a voter registration form to their local Board of Elections. Learn more.
5. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You aren't trapped because of COVID. If there is an issue where you face imminent harm, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you need help, you can call the State's Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906, or text 844-997-2121.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Earlier this week, U.S. Navy veteran Theresa Smith Reilly of Long Island celebrated her 99th birthday. To wish her a happy birthday, Theresa's granddaughter Maura put out a request on Facebook asking people to send her grandmother birthday cards. Maura's goal was to receive 99 cards; instead, she received 550, from across the U.S. and as far away as England, Ethiopia and Australia. Happy birthday, Theresa.
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