Coronavirus Live Updates: New NYC testing lab to cut wait times

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 18, 2020
New COVID-19 testing lab will open in Manhattan
It's expected to cut down on wait times.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new COVID-19 testing lab is opening in New York City, in a move that should significantly cut down on test result wait times.

Based in the Alexandria Center for Life Science on First Avenue and East 29th Street in Manhattan, the Pandemic Response Lab is now up and running and will scale up its capacity to process approximately 20,000 tests per day by November.

"With New York City's infection rate and hospitalizations at their lowest point since the beginning of the pandemic, we know that our strategy of widespread testing and tracing is working," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "The PRL will build on our city's reputation as a world leader in making testing available to everyone."

Officials say turnaround times for test results will be 24 to 48 hours and that New York City residents will be prioritized.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

1st of its kind PPE store now open in Herald Square

A first-of-its-kind New York City boutique that sells COVID-related safety products for homes and businesses is now open in Herald Square.

CV-19 Essential sells everything from cell phone sanitizers and portable air purifiers to plexiglass dividers and UV lights, and the public is encouraged to check out the store's Safe Zone Interactive Experience Center where they can try out the gadgets.

Struggling merchants around Yankee Stadium plead with team to help

Merchants located near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx are struggling as professional baseball games are being played without fans, and on Thursday, they joined with officials from the 161st Street Business Improvement District to plead with the team for help.

The protesters said the Yankees have rejected requests to help the local souvenir shops and sports bars that have been decimated by the shortened season and the coronavirus pandemic.

MTA warns warns nationwide impact without $12 billion in federal funding

The MTA, with its budget in shambles amid a record drop in ridership, is continuing to plead for $12 billion in federal aid and outlining the catastrophe that could follow without the bailout.

On Thursday, officials warned the agencies major national suppliers that all contracts are in jeopardy without the federal funding. And that's in addition to proposed service and workforce cuts.

NY Film Festival uses drive-in theaters to bring movies to the masses

The New York Film Festival normally takes place at Lincoln Center, but this year, like so many other events, it's going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, organizers have also found a way to show some of the movies to hundreds of people at a time, at drive-in movie theaters. Call it a back to the future approach, a retro way of showing films that started to die out more than half a century ago.

NYPD officers have controversial response when asked about masks at NYC subway station

A freshman at NYU called out two NYPD officers not wearing masks at a subway station in Brooklyn and now their not-so-friendly response is drawing some scrutiny.

In-person learning delayed for most NYC students

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will be delaying in-person learning for some students. There will be a phased-in reopening instead that will happen by grade levels and happen over the next two weeks. On Monday, September 21, 3-K, Pre-K, and early education sites will open including District 75 for special education. The following Tuesday on September 29, K-5 and K-8 schools will reopen. Finally, on Thursday, October 1, middle and high schools, secondary schools, transfer/adult schools will reopen.

Annual SummerStage Jubilee goes virtual amid coronavirus pandemic

The annual SummerStage Jubilee is going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a full lineup of entertainers set to perform via live stream starting Thursday at 8 p.m. The City Parks Foundation hosts the free benefit concert supporting programs in parks, with the hour-long digital event featuring exclusive musical performances by Sting, Norah Jones, Trey Anastasio, Rufus Wainwright, Leslie Odom Jr., Rosanne Cash, Emily King and PJ Morton.

Viral video shows Florida protesters demand Target customers remove their masks

A viral video from a Target in Florida has sparked outrage across the internet. It shows protesters against wearing masks parading through a Target store, yelling for other customers to remove their masks.

NJ school resumes sports, activities after contact tracing party

A New Jersey high school has decided to resume sports and extracurricular activities ahead of schedule after contact tracing a party in the woods that was attended by scores of students without masks or social distancing. Verona High School initially suspended all after-school activities for two weeks after learning of the large weekend gathering and reports of a possible positive test for COVID-19.

Museums forced to lay off workers, sell works of art amid pandemic

There are more staff cuts at the Guggenheim Museum just weeks before it is set to reopen. The museum said 24 employees would be laid off and eight others have taken voluntary separation agreements. This comes after two dozen employees were laid off earlier this week. The museum lost $1.4 million every month it was closed.

Trump again contradicts health experts, calls CDC director 'confused'

Openly contradicting the government's top health experts, President Donald Trump predicted that a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus could be ready as early as next month and in mass distribution soon after, undermining the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and calling him "confused" in projecting a longer time frame. Trump also disagreed with Dr. Robert Redfield about the effectiveness of protective masks - which the president recommends but almost never wears - and said he'd telephoned Redfield to tell him so.

Trump pushes for 'larger' COVID-19 relief bill, prioritizing $1,200 checks

President Donald Trump parachuted into the coronavirus aid debate, upbraiding his Republican allies for proposing too small of a relief package and encouraging both parties in Congress to go for a bigger one that would include his priority of $1,200 stimulus checks for most Americans. But his top GOP allies in the House and Senate shrugged off the president's mid-morning tweet for more aid. They also weighed in against a $1.5 trillion aid package backed by moderates in both parties that earned praise from the White House.

LIST: 56 New York City schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19

The Department of Education has released a full list of the 56 schools across New York City where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.

MORE NEWS: Watch Eyewitness to a Pandemic

The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.

RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list


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