Governor Hochul announces nearly 70 million COVID-19 tests so far distributed to...

Governor Hochul announces nearly 70 million COVID-19 tests so far distributed to New Yorkers

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Governor Kathy Hochul. Facebook photo

On March 31, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that nearly 70 million COVID-19 over-the-counter tests have been distributed by the State so far as part of ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers during the pandemic.

“As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, test kits are a critical tool in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent exposure to others,” Governor Hochul said. “We have already distributed nearly 70 million COVID-19 tests, and we will continue to focus our efforts on distributing at-home tests to New Yorkers and build up our stockpile so we can bolster our preparedness for the future, keep our communities safe, and safely move forward through this pandemic.”

As more New Yorkers utilize at-home tests over on-site testing, the State is scaling down its testing sites. The State has retained contracts to swiftly re-open testing sites through June if needed. Nearly 100,000 tests have been conducted at state testing sites since January 7. There are 1,910 registered locations to obtain a test in New York State, locations can be found here. All 15 of the State’s vaccine sites remain open and New Yorkers over the age of 50 are encouraged to get a second booster in accordance with the recently expanded CDC guidance.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “The distribution of at-home COVID-19 tests is a critical tool helping to curb spread in our communities. I thank Governor Hochul and our partners at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for distributing millions of rapid test kits statewide, particularly to high risk communities. New research released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that we must continue to center equity across all of our pandemic response efforts. In getting tests to nursing homes, senior centers, food banks, and NYC Housing Authority tenants, and in keeping our state-run mass vaccination sites open to all, that’s exactly what New York State is doing.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “COVID is still a very real threat and it’s critical we remain vigilant in our work to protect communities. Thanks to Governor Hochul’sleadership, New York has expanded our testing distribution operation to a scale few might have thought possible just a year ago, but we cannot rest on this accomplishment alone. As we move forward into the spring, we will continue to support our local partners however we can to ensure New Yorkers have the tools to stay safe and healthy.”

Since the beginning of the year, 68,890,256 million tests have been distributed throughout New York, including over 33 million tests to schools, 19.5 million tests to nursing homes and adult-care facilities, and more than 12.5 million tests to local officials, including counties, for public distribution in their respective communities. The distribution efforts follow the procurement of more than 90 million rapid tests in recent months.

Earlier this month, Governor Hochul announced that more than 20 million COVID-19 over-the-counter tests will be distributed across the state through the Spring to bolster New York State’s ongoing preparedness efforts.

The Spring plan includes distributions of over-the-counter test kits to nursing homes, adult care facilities, NYC Housing Authority tenants, food banks, senior centers, and schools, while also partnering with elected officials for distribution to the public, during the next few months to help identify new COVID-19 cases and keep New Yorkers safe.

Ahead of the Omicron surge in late 2021, Governor Hochul and her team identified the need to secure over-the-counter test kits to combat the Omicron surge, providing regular distributions to the general public, prioritizing schools and adult care facilities across the state.

Of the over 90 million tests procured, nearly 23 million tests have been stored to help prepare for any potential surges later this year.