New York state is opening up 11 rapid coronavirus testing sites in the Big Apple as a way to ramp up the reopening of the economy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
“I believe reopening is going to be accelerated by testing and we’ve been moving down that path,” Cuomo said during a virtual Albany press briefing. “If a person is tested and is negative then you can reopen.”
Testing, Cuomo explained, “is the key to accelerating the reopening of the economy.”
Cuomo said that “as we speak” the state was opening those 11 rapid testing sites in the city.
Eight of those sites are based in Manhattan, while the three other sites are based at CVS pharmacies each in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
The FDA-approved COVID-19 antigen tests administered at those sites will cost no more than $30 for results in 30 minutes or less, Cuomo said.
“It gives you peace of mind,” Cuomo said of the tests. “And we can use it as a way to reopen.”
The governor explained, “Were going to be reopening more of these [rapid testing sites], but I think this is going to be a big advantage for the state of New York.”
Cuomo went on to say, “Testing is also an opportunity to reopen colleges.”
He announced that colleges and universities across the state testing at least 25 percent of total on-campus students, faculty and staff weekly will not be required to go “on pause” unless their coronavirus positivity rate exceeds 5 percent during a rolling 14-day period.
Colleges that are not testing at least 25 percent of their population weekly must go on pause if they have 100 individuals test positive during a rolling 14-day period, according to Cuomo.
Meanwhile, the joint FEMA-state COVID-19 mass vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens are slated to open Wednesday.
Locals can start making appointments at those mega-sites on Saturday, said Cuomo.
Appointments to get jabbed for the first week will be for residents of communities with low vaccination rates, the governor said.
After one week, appointments at those sites will be opened up to all residents of those boroughs.