NYC expands COVID-19 testing to 169 nursing homes

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be focusing on protecting senior citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He says New York City will expand testing for residents in 169 nursing homes in the city.
The city will also offer on-site PCR tests to all nursing homes starting next week. There will be a capacity to run 3,000 tests a day through a city-contracted lab.
To reach every nursing home that accepts will require a two-week blitz, followed by regular weekly testing for residents.
Mandatory staff testing will also begin. Staff who test positive are required to stay out of work for 14 days, which will create shortages. The city’s surge staffing has already added 240 personnel across the city, according to the mayor, and will fulfill all staffing requests by end of next week.
The city will also be implementing 10 outbreak response teams, each with an epidemiologist and experts in infection control, mental health and social work.
Mayor de Blasio says New Yorkers should begin thinking of a shift to home-based care during this time and says the city should make it possible to make it the norm.
The mayor says that during the COVID-19 crisis, childhood vaccination rates are falling.
He says this is due to fewer doctors’ offices being open and families staying home.
The number of administered vaccine doses are down 63%. For ages two and under was down 42%, and older than 2 years old is down 91%.
The mayor says vaccinations are essential to protecting children and communities and are offered for free at over 1,000 NYC facilities as part of the Vaccines for Children program, and at all NYC Health + Hospitals community health clinics.