NYC Coronavirus Plan May See 'Tens Of Thousands' In Isolation

NEW YORK CITY — The city could put tens of thousands of New Yorkers into isolation as part of the mayor’s plan to reopen the economy, which relies on coronavirus tests that do not yet exist.

“If we don’t get the testing, then none of the other pieces come together,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday. “We’re going to keep looking under every stone.”

De Blasio on Wednesday detailed his “Test and Trace” plan, which he hopes — but could not confirm — New York City will unfurl in May.

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New York City continues to see widespread transmission of the new coronavirus, with at least 9,562 deaths and as many as 14,427 lives lost to COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, health department data shows.

There were 134,874 confirmed cases and 35,746 hospitalizations linked to COVID-19, city data shows.

“Test and Trace” would open testing sites across the five boroughs, manned by thousands of health care workers and staff to administer kits and provide assistance.

Those who test positive would be put in isolation; those who need housing would be directed to hotel rooms, of which de Blasio said last week the city has roughly 11,000. In addition, their contacts would be traced, the mayor said.

“We could be talking about tens of thousands of people in isolation,” de Blasio said. “It’s the only way we drive this disease back.”

New York City will begin manufacturing its own tests next month and receive a steady supply from Aria Diagnostics for a total of 400,000 test kits per month, which de Blasio said was nowhere near enough to test 8.5 million residents.

“The one place that could create the breakthrough is the federal government, and they still haven’t done it,” de Blasio said.

Aria has sent half of the 50,000 tests it promised to supply by the end of the month, de Blasio said. In addition, President Donald Trump assured Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday he would partner with New York State to double the daily testing capacity to 40,000.

The mayor’s plan also relies greatly on increased lab capacity and up to 10,000 thousand workers to tend patients, process tests and trace transmission, all of whom would need protective gear, de Blasio said.

When one reporter expressed open skepticism that “Test and Trace” was a viable solution, the mayor replied that the details would work themselves out.

“I’m not saying it’s perfect,” de Blasio said. “Is it absolutely, positively necessary? Yes.”

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