New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that 15 coronavirus testing sites are being set up in NYC for people who have participated in the mass protests over the police killing of George Floyd as the city gears up to reopen businesses from Monday. These centers will be dedicated to protestors so that they could get the test results quickly.
A number of other states across the United States have adopted similar measures following massive demonstrations. New York has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with black communities hit especially hard. Besides, New York plans to continue with thousands of tests for coronavirus to monitor any spikes in infection rates.
New York Gets More Cautious
With New York City poised to reopen on Monday after more than a two-month-long shutdown owing to coronavirus, officials want to take a more cautious approach. NYC also lifted a curfew on Sunday that was in place amid protests of police brutality and racial injustice. Cuomo praised the protesters for showing idealism and putting their lives on the line to call for racial justice but at the same time warned that the hard-hit city must stay on high alert for a resurgence of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Keeping this in mind, the state has decided to open 15 coronavirus testing centers dedicated to the demonstrators who participated in the mass protests over the police killing of George Floyd. "We are concerned that those protests may have increased the spread of the virus," Cuomo said at a press briefing Sunday. Besides, New York City will conduct 35,000 tests daily to monitor reopening progress.
New York's call is similar to those made in Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta following massive demonstrations, with free testing for protesters. "We are concerned that these protests may lead to an increase in the virus," Cuomo said. "So if you were at a protest, act responsibly. Get a test." Concern about protests comes as the state reported its lowest percentage of positive coronavirus tests since March 16, before New York closed down.
New York to Open Gradually
NYC, the world's most populous city, recorded fewer coronavirus positive cases over the past few days. Out of 60,435 tests conducted Saturday, about 1 per cent was positive for Covid-19. Cuomo said 45 people died from coronavirus on Saturday, and uptick from the low of 35 on Friday. However, he also mentioned that data is often incomplete on weekends.
Cuomo said that the reopening is certainly a good sign for the economy but everyone needs to be cautious over the next few weeks as the pandemic is far from over. Manufacturing and other factories can reopen from Monday in the city along with retail pickup only. If the numbers keep improving, the city will move to the next stage of reopening in two weeks.
However, it hasn't been decided whether to allow sleep away camps to open, as officials are examining data from the Kawasaki syndrome-like ailment that has struck some young people infected with COVID-19.