NEW YORK — This is how desperate many New Yorkers are to get tested for the coronavirus: people standing in line for hours outside Elmhurst Hospital in the rain.
“We are the epicenter. I don’t want us to be the epicenter, but we are the epicenter of this crisis for this nation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
New York City is taking the brunt of this pandemic, with nearly 18,000 people tested positive as of Wednesday.
The White House is now urging anyone who traveled in and out of New York City to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
The borough of Queens, where many Filipinos live and work, has the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Mark Mantaring lives and works in Queens. He’s hoping to keep his store open, but he is worried.
“I’m dealing with drivers still, I’m still out here on the street. I’ll take that home with me and that’s the scary part.”
New York state is leading among 50 states with the most number of people who tested positive for coronavirus: over 30,000. Almost 4,000 are in hospitals with COVID-19.
“They’ve been studying projections from China, South Korea, Italy, places all across this country. And what they’re now seeing is that the rate of cases, the rate of new infections is doubling about every three days,” said Cuomo.
New York state and city officials are considering closing some streets, city parks and playgrounds.
Fil-Am Deirdre Levy is a special educator in Brooklyn.
“The reality of New York is that there’s so many people and we have lots of different rights. New York can’t operate like China but I think it’s important for us as New Yorkers to take care of ourselves and think about what’s right if we want to get over this epidemic,” said Levy.
“What we need right now, besides isolating ourselves, is having a test, available readily, for all of us.”
Cuomo said over 44,000 people in New York City have been tested. The city has 8.6 million people.