New York will be able to expand its coronavirus testing capabiliy to 5,000 a day with the opening a mobile testing site in New Rochelle.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the city on Friday for the opening of the center. New Rochelle has been a hotspot for the virus and Westchester County alone has made up much of the number of confirmed cases in New York.
The site will operate six lanes.
"This is a very creative way of testing," Cuomo said. "This is drive through testing. Something I didn't hear of last week, but something that we're doing this week thanks to the good effort of the team we have here. Drive through testing means people in this community can call a telephone number, make an appointment and then can come to be tested and literally drive through the testing facilities."
The site opened a day after a 1-mile containment area went into effect for New Rochelle, a move that closed schools, houses of worship and other large congregating spots in the area.
Cuomo this week has pushed the federal government to authorize private labs to perform testing in order to squelch the spread of the virus. The state is working with 28 private-sector labs to conduct the tests.
But for now, all New Yorkers who wanted to be tested will not be able to obtain one. Cuomo said the state will continue to prioritize vulnerable people.
"We're not up to scale," he said. "You need to change that quickly and let the federal government turn that function over to the states. The states do it anyway. That's our bread and butter. You could open up 501,000 laboratories overnight if you just turn that responsibility back to the state."