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

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020

A second wave of the coronavirus creates travel woes in Beijing

Hannah Zhang June 29, 2020

Despite a few bumps, NYC is social distancing more than not

Joanna Lin Su June 29, 2020

Backyard music lessons

Madeline Gunderson June 28, 2020

Experts say ISIS exploits chaos of global pandemic to rebuild

Marina Guimaraes June 26, 2020

Cutting through COVID

Thomas Hengge June 26, 2020

Venezuelan government leaves residents stranded in U.S. during pandemic

Maria Abreu June 23, 2020

Vulnerable communities fear eviction as COVID-19 rent morotorium comes to an end

Jonathan Sarabia June 22, 2020

Beijing is China’s new epicenter for the coronavirus

Hannah Zhang June 22, 2020

Clock is ticking for NYC restaurants even as outdoor dining resumes  

Gaurav Sharma June 20, 2020

Michigan hair salons are back in business

Kyla Milberger June 17, 2020

Seafood markets in China lose business over new COVID-19 scare

Bohao Liu June 17, 2020

China resorts to street vending to revive its economy

Hannah Zhang June 16, 2020

The East Village is open! Well, sort of

Thomas Hengge June 15, 2020

My trip home during the pandemic

Zishu Sherry Qin June 15, 2020

Popular India Square “won’t be the same again” 

Gaurav Sharma June 13, 2020

Feds will not raise its key interest rate until 2022 and project slow recovery

Zishu Sherry Qin June 11, 2020

Despite pandemic, thousands of Syrians protest against government as economy collapses

Marina Guimaraes June 10, 2020

On the frontline of two deadly viruses

Narkwor Kwabla June 10, 2020

Bronx fish market struggles to stay afloat during pandemic

Daniel Girma June 9, 2020

Venezuelans leave behind a country in crisis only to encounter a new crisis in New York

Maria Abreu June 8, 2020

China promotes street vendors to reboot the economy

Bohao Liu June 8, 2020

For the developmentally disabled, COVID-19 brings new challenges

Kyla Milberger June 7, 2020

Giving food to Staten island vulnerable communities during the lockdown

Alpha Kamara June 6, 2020

Hong Kongers gather despite COVID-19 ban on Tiananmen vigil

Yifan Yu June 4, 2020

Army returns home after completing COVID-19 mission in New York 

Maria Abreu June 4, 2020

Ailana’s life in quarantine

Talgat Almanov June 3, 2020

Venezuela has another obstacle: the pandemic

Marina Guimaraes June 3, 2020