Coronavirus News: NYC's Pandemic Response Lab making strides for residents

COVID-19 News and Information
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio held his daily press conference outside the city's new Pandemic Response Lab.

The lab is dedicated to processing COVID-19 tests within 24-48 hours for NYC Health + Hospitals.

Based in the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan, the lab is now up and running.

The mayor says the lab 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," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "The PRL will build on our city's reputation as a world leader in making testing available to everyone."

"NYC must be a hub for public health research," de Blasio said. "We must do it because we cannot depend on anyone else to do it."

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The mayor says there is a rapid testing design contest underway in New York City.

The mayor also announced a rapid test design contest to try and get the fastest, most accurate tests for New York City.

The effort to open the lab was led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and uses technology licensed from NYU Langone Health.

It's based on research led by Dr. Jef Boeke, a geneticist and founding director of The Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone, Brooklyn-based Opentrons, a robotics company focused on life sciences, and works with diagnostic experts from P4 Clinical, Health + Hospitals, and the NYC Test + Trace team.

Another added bonus to faster turnaround and increased test processing capability, the lab is providing New Yorkers with good-paying jobs - clinical lab technologists, customer success representatives, automation engineers, and scientists, among others - by already employing close to one hundred people. That number will climb to approximately 150 by November.

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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.


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