New York City is experiencing the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began — and has not seen an uptick throughout the reopening process, officials said Thursday.
The city now has the capacity to conduct 50,000 tests per day at its 50-plus NYC Health + Hospitals sites, with results taking an average of two days, according to Dr. Ted Long, the head of the city’s Test and Trace Corps.
“I’m proud to say that today our rates of new cases of the coronavirus through all of those phases of reopening have not had an uptick whatsoever, they’ve been completely stable. That’s good news,” Long said at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily press briefing.
Long explained that a method known as “pooling” has cut the average citywide turnaround time for test results from four to two days.
“Pooling is where you have multiple different samples of coronavirus tests from patients. You run them all at the same time and if the overall sample is negative, you don’t need to run each one individually because you know each one individually is negative,” Long said. “So it saves a tremendous amount of time.”
More than 30,000 coronavirus tests are being conducted daily.
Testing, meanwhile, has been ramped up in the Tremont section of the Bronx, with a rapid-test machine delivering results in less than 15 minutes. Similar programs will soon be rolled out in Sunset Park and the Rockaways, Long said.
He also credited tracing efforts with driving down the spread of COVID-19.
The city is striving to hit benchmarks including reaching at least 90 percent of all new diagnoses and making sure at least 75 percent of those cases complete intake and isolate themselves.
The Test and Trace Corps has identified 17,383 new cases of coronavirus — and traced 17,137 contacts who may have been exposed, potentially preventing more than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 since the program began on June 1, Long said.
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