New York expands COVID-19 testing for healthcare workers, allows pharmacists to conduct tests

New York has expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing criteria to include all first responders, healthcare workers and essential employees even if they are asymptomatic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a media briefing April 25.

New York is one of the states hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and has been working to boost diagnostic testing capacity. To take those efforts even further, Mr. Cuomo said April 25 he plans to sign an executive order allowing pharmacists to conduct diagnostic testing.

Mr. Cuomo's order will allow more than 5,000 pharmacies across the state to begin testing. 

"We've been working with the federal government to increase the capacity of labs that process these diagnostic tests, and now we need more collection sites so we continue to ramp up our testing across the state," he said.

New York already is conducting more tests per capita than any other state or country, Mr. Cuomo said. 

Mr. Cuomo also said April 25 that New York is continuing to test front-line healthcare workers for antibodies, including at Bellevue Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital Center, Montefiore Medical Center and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, all in New York City. 

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