Not long ago, about 200 or so novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, tests were being conducted per day: That has since changed with 28 private laboratories enabled to perform tests, the addition of drive-through sites on Long Island, Staten Island, and Rockland County, as well as the New Rochelle hotspot.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said the sluggish testing rate has started to increase dramatically in the last several days. Now, 7,500 people were tested in the last day alone. All told, there have been 22,000 COVID-19 tests conducted.
The testing is still limited to people who are displaying symptoms, who have been in direct contact with a person who is confirmed to have the virus, or someone who has traveled overseas. Cuomo attributed the uptick in test capacity as one of the keys to containing the spread, along with ending large gatherings of people around New York and the northeast.
"There are thousands and thousands of people who had the virus and resolved and never knew they had the virus," Cuomo said at a press briefing on Thursday. "We're still testing because you want to find those positive cases, track them down, isolate people, and stop the spread. But you can't watch these numbers like the stock market and say, 'Well that's the indicator of anything other than how many tests we're taking.'"
Cuomo has warned, repeatedly, the overall testing number is, in essence, the tip of the iceberg for the total number of cases. The more dire concern in the coming weeks will be the hospitalization rate, now at 19 percent of the overall positive cases, or 777 people.