Coronavirus News: NYC to open new testing sites in hard-hit communities

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the city will open five additional coronavirus testing sites in vulnerable communities.

The city released preliminary data last week that showed COVID-19 is killing Hispanic and African-American New Yorkers at a much higher rate.

"This virus is not the great equalizer. It does not, in the end, have the same impact everywhere. It hurts people everywhere. Every community, every zip code has been affected and we all know people who are suffering or even people who have passed away. We see disparity. We see clear disparity in the impact. Who has been hit hardest? Communities of color, lower income communities. Folks who are vulnerable because they haven't had the healthcare they needed and deserve throughout their life. We cannot accept this. We have to attack it with every tool we have," de Blasio said.

New testing sites will all be located at the following Health and Hospital locations:
1. East New York, Brooklyn
2. Morrisania, Bronx
3. Harlem, Manhattan
4. Jamaica, Queens
5. Vanderbilt Clinic, Staten Island

Further, he called on the federal government to assist New York City in acquiring even more tests.

"I will be asking the federal government today for test kits to allow for 110,000 individualized tests. That will allow us to get started with this community effort and to continue everything else that we are doing, specifically 25,000 of those individualized test kits would be focused on health for their current needs and the new sites I have just described. And we need to get these test kits in this week," de Blasio said.
Reiterating similar calls from Governor Cuomo, de Blasio explained that in order for New York City to move on from the crisis, a rapid testing program needs to be brought to scale to accommodate larger numbers of people.

"To get to the low level transmission phase, we'll need much more testing. To get to the phase where we defeated the coronavirus and there's basically no transmission, we'll need a lot more testing. Really, really widespread testing. We're nowhere near that now. This is what our national government should be focused on first and foremost," he said.

Mayor de Blasio added that expanding testing in the city is completely contingent upon getting the supplies needed from sources outside of the city.

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