New York City is broadening the guidelines for who should get tested for the coronavirus
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NEW YORK — New York City is broadening the criteria for who should get tested for the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The new testing guidelines include anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 and anyone who works at a nursing home or shelter. Also on Thursday, de Blasio praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed $3 trillion virus aid package.
Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments in New York:
TESTING CRITERIA BROADENED
The expanded new testing guidelines come as the city opens more testing sites with the goal of administering 20,000 tests a day by May 25, de Blasio said.
When the virus first hit New York in March, testing kits were in such such short supply that it was difficult for anyone except the most severely affected to get tested. People who suspected they had been infected but who were experiencing only mild symptoms were told simply to stay isolated at home.
De Blasio said the city still needs help from the federal government to expand testing to the point where it’s possible to contain the virus through a comprehensive testing and tracing program. “When we get the real support we need from the federal government and that additional lab capacity, we’ll be able to go much father,” he said.
New York City has reported more than 186,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, a figure that is likely much lower than the number of city residents who have been infected.
The number of children in New York City diagnosed with a rare inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to the coronavirus has grown to 100, de Blasio said. Of those, 55 have tested positive either for the coronavirus or for antibodies to the virus.
VIRUS AID PACKAGE PRAISED
The $3 trillion aid package proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is exactly what New York, other states and cities need to revive their economies that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
“Right now, if we don’t get a massive infusion of federal support, we cannot go through this recovery,” the Democratic mayor said on CNN’s “New Day.” “We cannot get our city back on its feet because we won’t be able to pay for the basics.”
The coronavirus aid package proposed Tuesday by Pelosi includes $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of payments to individuals. The Democrat-controlled House is expected to vote on the package as soon as Friday, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Republican-controlled Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to consider options.
De Blasio said the House proposal “would actually allow New York City and New York state, cities and states everywhere, blue states, red states, everyone to get back on their feet.”
The mayor has said that New York City, the epicenter of the virus in the United States, has lost more than $7 billion in revenue because of the two-month coronavirus lockdown,