Hochul said, “As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, test kits are a critical tool in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent exposure to others. While our numbers remain low, now is the time to ramp up the distribution of tests and build up our stockpile so we can bolster our preparedness for the future to protect our communities, and safely move forward through this pandemic.”
The State will continue to provide over-the-counter test kits to nursing homes, adult care facilities, and schools, and will partner with elected officials for continued distribution to the public, during the next few months to identify new COVID-19 cases.
This includes one million tests to schools outside of New York City every other week until the end of the school year.
The State also will partner with Mayors, County Executives, Members of Congress, and State Legislators to increase access to tests for the general public. An additional 500,000 tests will be made available to various food banks and senior centers throughout the state, based on request.
Of the more than 90 million tests procured by New York State, approximately 20 million tests have been stored to help prepare for any potential surges later this year.
Hochul also announced she has extended the state’s COVID-related state of emergency through April 15.
According to the governor’s office, the extension gives the state the flexibility to troubleshoot hospital capacity issues and it will be reassessed in 30 days.