HUNDREDS of New Yorkers braved rain showers and cold, windy weather to get tested for COVID-19 as infections in the city continue to surge, shocking photos show.
As many as 152 people were captured huddled together on the sidewalk Tuesday while waiting to be tested for the coronavirus at Elmhurst Hospital in New York.
Although many in line wore surgical or even gas masks, some were so close their umbrellas overlapped – violating the social distancing rules advised by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Photos snapped bright blue testing tents lined up outside the hospital in Queens, which accounts for nearly a third of New York City's 13,119 cases, according to Qns.com.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that NYC Health + Hospitals would expand its appointment-only COVID-19 testing across 10 hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital.
Hospital workers in yellow plastic gowns protected themselves with blue hairnets and face masks as they asked each person about their symptoms before sending them off to the tents, where the tests were administered.
De Blasio told 1010 Wins on Monday that Elmhurst "has had an extraordinary amount of activity" because there aren't enough hospitals proportionate to the 2.3 million residents in Queens.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned other states of the coronavirus hell to come on Wednesday, predicting that his state's COVID-19 cases would be the first to spike within three weeks.
He called on the federal government to act fast as the death toll in New York hit 192 – only 53,000 of the 140,000 hospital beds needed in-state are available.
Testing delays have caused a severe setback to the US response – even though the first case was discovered around the same time as South Korea's.
Part of the problem has been the lack of available data and difficulties tracking reliable testing data from the CDC, which takes several days to report the number of specimens – not people – tested.
Recent data from the COVID Tracking Project shows that only 125 people per million have been tested In the US – far fewer than countries ravaged by the outbreak like South Korea and Italy, according to the New York Times.
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