Governor Hochul Announces Continued Expansion of Monkeypox Testing Capacity with Approval of Quest Diagnostics’ New PCR Testing App

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Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the New York State Department of Health has reviewed and approved Quest Diagnostics’ recent request for identification testing for Monkeypox in New York State. The tests, which use real-time PCR technology to test samples from individuals who exhibit blistering rashes or pustules, will further expand New York State’s extensive testing capacity and give providers another option in regarding laboratories that can process samples and detect Monkeypox virus. Currently, samples can be tested at the state’s Wadsworth Center, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as private labs such as LabCorp, Mayo Clinic, Aegis Sciences Corporation, Sonic Healthcare and UR Medicine Lab.

“New York still faces a disproportionate number of monkeypox cases, and we will continue to meet this moment with urgency and aggressive action,” Governor Hochul said. “Today’s announcement builds on our ongoing monkeypox response efforts to expand testing capacity, secure more vaccines and make resources as widely available as possible. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers, including our most vulnerable communities.

Like other tests available, the new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test from Quest Diagnostics uses swab specimens collected by health care providers, such as primary care physicians, hospitals, or care emergency, in patients presenting with an acute generalized pustular or vesicular eruption. The new type of test was announced by Quest in mid-July, with a rollout expected in the coming weeks. New York State Public Health Law required the Department of Health to take additional steps to approve this new test, with Quest Diagnostics submitting information to the Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program (CLEP). This review is now complete.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said: “As we continue to expand monkeypox testing capacity through the additional use of private labs, it is important to know that the state’s Wadsworth Center also has capacity available for additional testing. present for the test to assess whether the virus is also present. Without lesions, the test is currently not possible. And we will continue to work to make sure providers know when and how to test for monkeypox.

Providers can find detailed instructions on how to collect samples in the health notice the department shared through the health alert network.

The expanded testing capacity builds on the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) ongoing monkeypox response efforts, which included the recent launch of a new SMS notification effort to provide the latest monkeypox information direct to New Yorkers. New Yorkers can sign up to receive text messages — which will include alerts about cases, symptoms, spread and resources for testing and vaccination — by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts. in Spanish. By providing a zip code, New Yorkers can also sign up for location-based messages.

Due to New York State’s ongoing coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Monkeypox Response Team, New York State has secured over 60,000 doses to date, including those intended for to New York City. Governor Hochul recently spoke with Dr. Ashish Jha of the White House to ensure that New York continues to receive its fair share of vaccine supplies as they become available, especially for New Yorkers in the communities with high transmission rates.

NYSDOH dedicated website, which stays up to date with the latest information, offers free downloadable materials including a palm map, information map, handout and posters available in English and Spanish. NYSDOH has already distributed these resources to LGBTQ+ organizations, local county health departments, healthcare providers, and businesses. NYSDOH also engaged in a paid digital advertising campaign to provide information to communities experiencing higher rates of monkeypox cases.

In addition to public outreach, the New York State Department of Health continues to focus on delivering vaccines to communities. Local county health departments that have been supplied administer the vaccine directly and establish their own appointment processes. Working in partnership with counties, New Yorkers who sign up for location-based alerts can receive alerts about vaccine availability, clinic locations, scheduling, and other smallpox-related updates from monkey specific to their region.

Earlier this month, NYSDOH, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), hosted a Monkeypox Town Hall for community leaders led by State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and City Health Commissioner Dr. AshwinVasan.

For more information on monkeypox, visit health.ny.gov/monkeypox.

New Yorkers can learn more about New York State first allocation of vaccines from the federal government here and the second attribution here.

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