Gov. Cuomo plans for more rapid COVID-19 test sites in hopes of aiding restaurants

Shopkeepers across the state are welcoming a proposal by Cuomo that is aimed at bringing in more customers. He said Tuesday the state will open rapid testing sites where people can come in get a test for coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Jan 12, 2021, 11:02 PM

Updated 1,196 days ago

Share:

During Tuesday's State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to get more customers into the state's struggling restaurants.
Babylon has one of Long Island's most popular downtowns, but like all of the Island's downtowns, it has been hit hard by the pandemic. Max Gargiulo remembers the sick feeling he had last spring when he had to close Molto Vino.
"All of a sudden it was like 'Oh my God, this is really happening,'" he says.
He made it through, and even opened a second restaurant in the village. But it has been a struggle.
"The business is just not there," says Gargiulo. "We have people working and they have families and they need the money and we need to still pay bills."
Shopkeepers across the state are welcoming a proposal by Cuomo that is aimed at bringing in more customers. He said Tuesday the state will open rapid testing sites where people can come in get a test for coronavirus. If they test negative, they're then cleared to go restaurants and other businesses.
"We will work with the local real estate community to open additional rapid testing sites where people can receive a rapid test, hours prior to patronizing a business or engaging in a social activity," says Cuomo. "We will open hundreds of these new pop-up rapid testing sites statewide."
The governor says they tried this exact thing over the weekend at the Buffalo Bills' playoff game.
The state Health Department conducted drive-through rapid tests prior to the game. Less than 2% of the recipients tested positive, allowing thousands of fans to attend the game.
Cuomo says the state also plans on opening testing sites inside commercial buildings to help workers return to their offices.


More from News 12