NY sending 20 million Covid tests around state
Tests going to nursing homes, adult care facilities, schools, senior centers, food banks and other sites in communities
Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office
ALBANY – Governor Kathy Hochul today 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.
“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,” Hochul said. “While our numbers remain low, now is the time to ramp up the distribution of tests and build up our stockpile so we can bolster our preparedness for the future to protect our communities, and safely move forward through this pandemic.”
The state will continue to provide over-the-counter test kits to nursing homes, adult care facilities, and schools, and will partner with elected officials for continued distribution to the public, during the next few months to identify new Covid-19 cases and keep New Yorkers safe.
This includes one million tests to schools outside of New York City every other week until the end of the school year. New York City no longer receives state distributions because they have sufficient test kits to get them through the year. At home tests have proven to be an invaluable tool for identifying cases and protecting our communities; they were responsible for finding at least 15,000 positive cases among students and staff the week after the winter break alone.
In addition to these continued distributions, the state is increasing distribution points for test kits. The State will partner with Mayors, County Executives, Members of Congress, Borough Presidents and State Legislators across New York to increase access to tests for the general public.
And the State will coordinate distribution of 1.74 million tests to the NYC Housing Authority tenants, enough for each household to receive four tests. An additional 500,000 tests will be made available to various food banks and senior centers throughout the state, based on request.
More than 54 million tests have already been distributed throughout New York since the beginning of the year, including nearly 30 million tests to schools, 12.5 million tests to nursing homes and adult-care facilities, and more than 10 million tests to local officials for public distribution in their respective communities. The distribution efforts follow the procurement of more than 90 million rapid tests in recent months.
NYS Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “Expanding access to over-the-counter test kits is a key part of our strategy to return to normalcy during the Covid-19 era. While getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect against Covid-19, testing is another important tool to prevent the spread of infection so we can safely return to work, school, and social activities. We commend Governor Hochul for continuing to lead New York State through this new phase of the pandemic and providing our residents with the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities safe.”