Coronavirus News: NYC testing sites in need of critical equipment to operate

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Thousands of additional people could be tested for COVID-19 in the New York City area, but some testing sites are missing critical equipment to make it happen.

The state of New York is doing more testing than any other state, but some health care workers say the results can take anywhere from a few days to a week to come back.

Governor Andrew Cuomo picked University Hospital of Brooklyn as one of more than two dozen sites to be used as testing centers. However, the federal government haven't sent the equipment to make the testing possible

"It's pretty frustrating to all of us who take care of patients on a daily basis," said Dr Wayne Riley, President of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. "We want to figure out who has COVID 19 and who doesn't."

If they received the testing supplies, they could get results back in hours not days.

"Brooklyn is way too big to have such limited testing capacity," Dr. Riley said.'=

Two dozen local lawmakers signed and sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pleading for the critical equipment to be allocated.

"It's absolutely critical in making a big difference in New York City, New York State and of course the country," Dr. Riley said.

Emergency room doctor say faster results in the pandemic will make a big difference when it comes to care, supplies and hospital space.

"For the patients we are admitting, that affects which unit we put them in," said Dr. Pia Daniel, Associate Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. "It affects how much PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies we have to go through."

The equipment will be used not only to test patients but health care workers.

"We are absolutely going to need as many as we can," Dr. Daniel said.

Hospital leaders say they could test 1,000 people a day at the site with results returning in a matter of hours.

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