New York City officials are pushing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow the Big Apple lab to do its own coronavirus tests.
Samples from five patients in the city have been sent to the CDC for testing so far. Two came back negative this week, but the others are still pending, officials said.
The CDC is moving to approve public health laboratories, or PHLs, throughout the country to speed up coronavirus testing and ease the workload on the federal agency — but it has been a slow process, Mayor Bill de Blasio says.
In a letter to the CDC Sunday, Raul Perea-Henze, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, urged the agency that the process “be accelerated as much as possible.”
There are more than 28,000 confirmed cases of the virus in China, where the epidemic originated and where 563 were dead as of Thursday. There are an additional 230 confirmed cases outside of China.
At least 12 cases have been confirmed in the US — but none of them in New York thus far.