Cuomo Calls for Federal Coordination of Supply Chain to Bring Testing to Scale

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today called for federal coordination of the supply chain to bring testing to scale so states can perform begin reopening functions.

Tests are currently produced by private laboratory equipment manufacturers - there are 30 large manufacturers in the U.S. - and these manufacturers sell the tests to smaller labs, who then sell the tests to hospitals and the public. For a test to be performed, local labs must have the necessary testing chemicals known as reagents and there are different reagents for different manufacturer's tests. The state asked the top 50 labs in New York what they needed to double their testing output, and all said they needed more reagents.

The Governor is also issuing an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference, a practice that is banned under current law. Many marriage bureaus have temporarily closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing New Yorkers from getting a marriage license during the current health emergency; the Executive Order will temporarily suspend a provision of law that requires in-person visits. 

Governor Cuomo also reiterated the bipartisan call from the National Governors Association for the federal government to provide $500 billion in unrestricted aid to the states to help stabilize the economy and allow the states to perform reopening functions. The federal government has passed three bills to address this crisis, including the federal CARES Act, all of which contained zero funding to offset drastic state revenue shortfalls.

"Why is testing so important? Testing is how you monitor the rate of infection and it's how we find people with the virus and trace their contacts," Governor Cuomo said. "The challenge is to bring testing up to scale. We asked the top 50 labs in the state what they would need to double their testing, and they all said the same thing: they need more chemical reagents. We need the federal government to oversee the supply chain and help get labs what they need."

Finally, the Governor confirmed 7,090 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 236,732 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 236,732 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:

County

Total Positive

New Positive

Albany

648

29

Allegany

30

1

Broome

186

8

Cattaraugus

34

0

Cayuga

36

0

Chautauqua

25

0

Chemung

72

1

Chenango

77

1

Clinton

48

1

Columbia

105

4

Cortland

25

0

Delaware

49

1

Dutchess

2,201

59

Erie

1,997

68

Essex

16

1

Franklin

13

0

Fulton

27

0

Genesee

87

4

Greene

82

5

Hamilton

3

0

Herkimer

47

1

Jefferson

50

0

Lewis

8

0

Livingston

37

3

Madison

105

0

Monroe

1,008

33

Montgomery

34

1

Nassau

29,180

641

Niagara

234

7

NYC

131,263

3,911

Oneida

268

7

Onondaga

492

9

Ontario

69

2

Orange

6,266

182

Orleans

41

7

Oswego

45

0

Otsego

47

3

Putnam

582

4

Rensselaer

164

14

Rockland

9,171

184

Saratoga

244

8

Schenectady

259

9

Schoharie

20

0

Schuyler

6

0

Seneca

18

0

St. Lawrence

98

2

Steuben

160

6

Suffolk

26,143

1,108

Sullivan

524

19

Tioga

32

2

Tompkins

117

0

Ulster

820

32

Warren

94

3

Washington

52

4

Wayne

49

0

Westchester

23,179

703

Wyoming

36

1

Yates

9

1