Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

NYC now producing its own coronavirus test kits

Coronavirus test kit. Photo by @anyaivanova via Twenty20

New York City is officially producing its own coronavirus test kits. Mayor Bill De Blasio announced in a press conference today that the city is currently working with companies to produce 50,000 3D printed swabs per week.

“I think many of us have experienced it in our own families, in our own lives, why it’s such a dangerous disease,” said DeBlasio. “This is not as easy to just walk away and leave us alone and go quietly into the night. No, we’re gonna have to fight it back if we want to rid ourselves of it.

De Blasio said that the first batch of 30,000 tests are expected to be delivered by Friday, May 8th. The city can then expect a weekly delivery of 50,000 tests by the week of May 17th.

This seemingly simple piece of plastic actually proved to be a complex matter, because it has to be done just the right way, and it has to be kept sterile, in packaging like this until the point when it is actually going to be used on a patient,” said DeBlasio, holding up a 3D printed swab stick. “So getting this right proved to be actually a complex matter,”

The city has formed a coalition of multiple organizations to make the test kits, including  Print Parts and Albert Einstein College of Medicineto develop the tests, Viral Transport Medium (VTM) to deliver them to hospitals. DeBlasio acknowledged all lab workers on the frontlines of coronavirus.

“All of you are also heroes in this effort. I want to express my deep thanks to all of you. But I want to especially thank those who have worked in our public labs,” said DeBlasio. “ It’s been a big part of how we fight back to have the public health lab non stop getting results for New Yorkers who need them.

Governor Cuomo also stated in a press conference today that New York and seven other northeast states will collectively buy $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies for its healthcare workers. 

“New York State alone buys about $2 billion of medical supplies. And that’s one state.” said Cuomo. 

The coalition, Cuomo said, which consists of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, will hopefully increase the states’ market value and avoid faulty vendors.

“Why should they do business with one state right when they can do business with an entire country?This consortium I think will help us get the equipment and get it at a better price,”he said.

The coalition is a result of President Trump expecting governors to obtain their own supplies.

“There was competition among states, there was competition among private entities to get this equipment,” Cuomo said. “We just drove up prices by our own competition.”

Cuomo also mandated that all hospitals are required to have a 90 day supply of equipment.

The announcements of these newly formed partnerships comes as the weather gets warmer, and large numbers of people take to the streets. As of yesterday, NYPD issued a total of 51 summonses, including 43 in parks, according to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Six motorcycles were also seized in Astoria Park. 

We expected this and prepared for this. NYPD is out in force,” said De Blasio. “If you want to go out for a while, get some exercise, get some fresh air, that’s totally understandable. Don’t linger too long. Get back home while you’re out there, keep that face covering on, keep that social distance.”

DeBlasio also said that while going to parks was okay at a distance, large purposeful gatherings were unacceptable. He gave examples of places such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which eased restrictions early on and are now experiencing a second wave of coronavirus. 

“I want you to look at that image of the boomerang, get it in your mind and think about that’s the thing you do not want,” said DeBlasio.  “We cannot afford a boomerang with this disease in this city. ”



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

During pandemic, Rio de Janeiro residents fear police

Marina Guimaraes May 27, 2020

Recovering from drugs during a pandemic

Kyla Milberger May 26, 2020

  Covid-19 takes away the communal joy at Eid-al-Fitr celebration

Narkwor Kwablaa May 25, 2020

Beloved old school game sees boom in numbers during coronavirus quarantine

Michael Yang May 15, 2020

Coronavirus leaves the fate of some beloved New York events uncertain

Emily Glass May 15, 2020

South Africa’s lockdown exposes inequalities

Kathleen Taylor May 14, 2020

Churchgoers find spiritual growth through virtual services 

Harrison Tsui May 14, 2020

” I’m working with COVID patients tonight”

Margaret Guzman May 14, 2020

Singles connect on Tinder to fight quarantine blues 

Yaroslava Bondar May 14, 2020

Jewish traditions during a pandemic

Sydney Fishman May 13, 2020

The Bible and Coronavirus

Jonathan Sarabia May 13, 2020

Doctor uses social media to give advice and hope

Sope Aluko May 12, 2020

First Sandy, Now COVID: Lower East Side Activists Grapple With Construction for Climate Project

Izzie Ramirez May 12, 2020

Dating during a pandemic

Bessie Liu May 12, 2020

The last reponders

Shiyu Xu May 11, 2020

When the pandemic hits a shelter for abused boys 

Amanda Perez Pintado May 11, 2020

Portugal contains the coronavirus despite Spain’s woes

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 11, 2020

Warm weather brings crowds to Prospect Park

Bessie Liu May 11, 2020

New York coronavirus numbers continue to fall

Jonathan Sarabia May 10, 2020

Living through the pandemic while a loved one is behind bars

Amanda Perez Pintado May 10, 2020

Pandemic ends all high school senior year traditions

Jonathan Sarabia May 10, 2020

Coronavirus might have caused the death of many children who were misdiagnosed 

Ximena Del Cerro May 9, 2020

Farmers destroy staggering amounts of food even as food lines grow

Karen Camela Watson May 9, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic threatens border towns in Mexico

Sydney Fishman and Ximena Del Cerro May 9, 2020

Pence’s press secretary tests positive for Covid-19

Shiyu Xu May 8, 2020

During pandemic NYC tenants in limbo

John DiLillo May 8, 2020

Llamas could be coronavirus heroes

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 8, 2020

Lawmakers, Legal Experts Clash Over Much Needed Business Interruption Insurance Coverage for Small Businesses

James Duffy May 8, 2020

Rent relief in NY, JetBlue’s flyover and Trump’s valet tests positive for coronavirus in today’s news

Amanda Perez Pintado May 7, 2020

Coronavirus tears through the Navajo Nation 

Amanda Perez Pintado May 7, 2020

In Singapore, spaces close, but restaurants open

Yifan Yu May 6, 2020

Press secretary calls Fauci testifying before congress “publicity stunt”

Kathleen Taylor May 6, 2020

Harry Potter and the Magical Malady of the Movies

Ahad Sanwari May 6, 2020

Trump speaks to human loss, Cuomo lashes out at President’s comments

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 5, 2020

PPE in the city

Narkwor Kwabla May 5, 2020

Boring Politics is Good Politics – Especially in a Pandemic

Serafina Smith May 5, 2020

Stuck: Life under quarantine in Rio de Janeiro

Marina Guimaraes May 5, 2020

New York’s Emptiness

Maria Abreu May 5, 2020

In an Airbnb Room During Lockdown in Jamaica, Queens

Dayo Paul May 4, 2020

What Temporary Means: Portraits of family at home

Guillermo Manning May 4, 2020

Stockholm Stays Open

Tatiana Kireeva May 4, 2020

Miss you, mom: Spending Ramadan together through a screen

Maznah Shehzad May 3, 2020

Life in front of a screen

Patricio Zenklussen May 3, 2020

Coronavirus and the Shincheonji

Bessie Liu May 3, 2020

It’s The Little Things

Sope Aluko May 3, 2020

Days In, Days Out: A doctor’s life during Covid-19

Elsa Benamouzig May 2, 2020

Contactless: Food Delivery amid COVID-19

Keighton Li May 2, 2020

Hasidic South Williamsburg Resists the New Reality

Leo Schwartz May 2, 2020

Solace in Suburbia

Susanne Schweitzer May 2, 2020

Puerto Rico rocked by 5.4 magnitude earthquake

Amanda Perez Pintado May 2, 2020