Jul 31, 2020
The surge in COVID cases in states across the country has exposed a weakness in our nation's testing infrastructure. National laboratories have backlogs of tests that have unfortunately led to long turnaround times for results, reducing states' ability to monitor and track cases.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, I lay out how our country can end the long waits for COVID test results by sharing lessons we learned in New York, where the vast majority of tests are processed at local labs. By taking four steps we can help fix the testing issues. Government must: Mobilize smaller local labs, streamline the supply chain, invest in innovative solutions like "pooled testing" and fund all medically necessary testing. Read the full op-ed here.
Photo of the Day: Reminder, face coverings are required on public transit
(Photo by Nina Dudko)
1. The application deadline for COVID rent relief has been extended to August 6. The COVID Rental Assistance Program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act. New Yorkers can access the program application here.
2. The number of total hospitalizations hit a new low. Yesterday, there were 576 total hospitalizations—the lowest level since March 17. The number of intubations also fell to 70, a record low since mid-March. Of the 68,869 tests reported yesterday, 644, or 0.93%, were positive. Sadly, we lost 5 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. Get a copy of the New York Tough poster. The historically influenced poster visualizing our state's struggle with COVID is still available. You can order your poster here (Note: The posters are sold at cost; the State does not make a profit in any sale.)
4. The Toronto Blue Jays are selling cardboard cutouts of fans to fill the stands of Buffalo's Sahlen Field. Following the lead of other baseball teams, the Blue Jays—which will have most of their home games in Buffalo this season—will be greeted in the stands by cardboard cutouts of fans.
5. If you are in a dangerous domestic situation, New York State will help you find safe shelter. 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.