Governor Cuomo issues executive order on COVID-19 testing; private labs to coordinate with state

Posted at 12:19 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 12:21:31-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new executive order for New York State on Friday, coordinating private testing facilities to do large-scale COVID-19 testing in New York State.

"We don't have a testing system that can do this volume," Governor Cuomo said in his daily update on Friday. "We don't have a public health testing system."

There are currently 301 laboratories and hospitals across the state that are licensed to perform virology testing like the COVID-19 test. The executive order will lead those labs and hospitals to operate under one coordinated strategy.

Governor Cuomo equated the challenge of testing to the "surge and flex" initiative launched in March to coordinate between privately and publicly run hospitals.

There have been issues, according to Governor Cuomo, with labs getting the chemicals needed to conduct the testing for COVID-19. Those chemicals come from China, leading to an international supply chain issue. Governor Cuomo says New York State will need federal assistance to work with China to get more chemicals into testing labs in New York State.

In his briefing on Friday, Governor Cuomo listed testing as an important element in being able to restart New York's economy.