Cuomo unveils COVID-19 testing pilot program with independent pharmacies

Steve Selfie – PSSNY
Steve Moore, president of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, speaks about the governor’s plan to use independent pharmacies for COVID-19 testing.
Courtesy of Steve Moore

While the New York City leads the country in COVID-19 testing and the areas bordering the city looking to open next week, the governor is attempting to test as many people as possible.

On May 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a COVID-19 testing pilot program for 50 independent pharmacies statewide that will result in 7,000 diagnostic tests per week. Among those pharmacies, about eight are from the Bronx.

The federal government will procure testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of New York, who will in turn provide the materials to independent pharmacies.

Steve Moore, president of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) looks forward to implementing the program. While he is still awaiting a final call with the governor’s office to hammer out the details, he anticipates testing will begin June 1.

“I think once we start to test in the city this can be incredibly valuable,” he explained.

Moore told the Bronx Times in places like the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, where there are many impoverished communities, this will be a big boost to help flatten the curve and help the people. Additionally, those boroughs have several drive-through testing sites and most New Yorkers do not have cars.

Customers will be asked to self swab their mouth and the pharmacy will then send the kits out for results.

Moore has spoken to his colleagues and said that they are all eager to participate.

“By and large everyone is excited,” he said. “As community based pharmacies we know the needs of the community.”

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