BUFFALO, N.Y. — As New York State battles yet another winter surge of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Kathy Hochul says more testing sites will be opening next week.
In a COVID-19 briefing Friday morning, Hochul announced that New York is launching six more state-run testing sites next week, including one here in Buffalo, to help address the rising COVID cases. These sites will add to the state's existing 1,800-plus testing sites across New York.
The state-run testing site in the City of Buffalo will officially open at Noon on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center located at 155 Lawn Avenue in Buffalo. After that, the testing site will be open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The site is by appointment only. You can sign up at www.gogettested.com.
The new testing sites were announced by the governor as part of New York's "Winter Surge Plan 2.0." The plan aims to focus on five key points, which includes keeping students in school, doubling down on masks and testing, preventing severe illness and death, increasing access to vaccines and boosters, and working together with local leaders.
"As we head into the holiday weekend, New York State is mobilizing every resource at our disposal to fight the winter surge and keep New Yorkers safe," Hochul said. "We can get through this surge through targeted actions, partnerships with local leaders, and by taking common sense steps to keep us all safe: get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear a mask indoors."
As of Dec. 30, 339,853 tests were reported to New York State. Of those tests, 76,555 came back positive for a percent positive rate of 22.53 percent. Currently the seven-day percent positive rate is 17.91 percent.
According to Hochul, New York is testing more, which is why the state is seeing more positive cases. In compared to other states in the United States, Hochul says New York has administered the third highest amount of tests.
"We are seeing more cases, but not the correlating number of deaths, which is a good number," Hochul said.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations continue to rise. As of Dec. 30, 7,919 people were in New York hospitals with COVID-19. Of those hospitalized, 1,072 patients are in the ICU, 524 of which requiring intubation.
Eighty New Yorkers died from COVID-19 on Dec. 30.