BY JASON COHEN
Large-scale testing is required to safely reopen New York City. While the nation faces a shortage of swabs, a key component in test kits, New York City is producing its very own.
On May 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the first “Made in NYC” test kits are now in use at NYC Health + Hospital community testing sites citywide. By the end of this week, more than 60,000 test kits will be delivered, building on the city’s commitment to rapidly expand its testing and tracing operations.
“We are moving full steam ahead to build a massive testing apparatus from the ground up,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Widespread testing is the key to reopening our city, and we are using every resource at our disposal to ensure we get there safely.”
In a matter of weeks, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) consulted with experts across the country, forged relationships with local manufactures, worked with medical professionals and city agencies to review swab designs, figured out sanitization and vetting processes for medical use and then quickly found local manufacturers to begin production.
“Testing is critical to the health of New Yorkers and the future of our economy,” said James Patchett, president and CEO of the EDC. “We took matters into our own hands by building our own tests kits. Innovations like these will lead our city and our country through this crisis.”
Print Parts in Manhattan, which is 3D printing swabs at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is following a CDC protocol to produce transport medium, a liquid that preserves the collected sample while it is transferred to a lab for testing.
These components are then assembled into completed kits by Collab, a Brooklyn-based fabrication lab.
First responders and healthcare personnel are eligible to receive antibody testing through a partnership with CDC. Testing has already started for OCME staff and others who are eligible can sign up at FirstSeroSurveyNYC.com.
New Yorkers can find their closest COVID-19 testing site at nyc.gov/CovidTest.
The CDC can now confirm a link to COVID-19. Parents should watch for the following symptoms and seek care immediately if their child has:
- persistent fever
- irritability or sluggishness
- abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting
- conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
- enlarged lymph node “gland” on neck
- red cracked lips or red tongue
- swollen hands and feet
This story first appeared on bxtimes.com.