ALBANY – Twenty-eight more private labs will soon be able to test New Yorkers by sometime next week.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday that he spoke with President Trump and Vice President Pence and that they approved a request for the federal government to decentralize regulations of coronavirus testing facilities.
That would pave the way for additional private labs to begin testing New Yorkers.
Cuomo also said that a seven-day waiting period before laid off workers can receive unemployment benefits will be waived.
The new state oversight of the testing, powers it now has for flu, strep and other tests, will make it possible for 6,000 coronavirus tests per day in New York. In the past couple weeks, the state has done a total of 3,000 tests through a state lab, counties and handful of private companies.
Cuomo said the virus is going to be a problem in New York State for months. He said one of his daughters is among those placed in a cautionary quarantine for possible exposure to the virus. He said he “understands fully” the anxiety raging through the population. But, he added, that “the facts don’t justify the fear.’’
The state now has 421 positive cases, an increase of 96 from Thursday; 50 have been or are hospitalized. The cases are still centered downstate, though new counties upstate are being added each day. So far, there have been no cases in Western New York.
The governor said he will also ban utilities from cutting off the power in the homes of individuals affected by the coronavirus.