JONES BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)Coronavirus testing is now taking over an entire lot at Jones Beach.

Drive-thru testing began Tuesday for hundreds of people. Only those with appointments who meet state criteria are allowed.

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A line of cars entered Jones Beach, filled with masked and worried Long Islanders seeking testing. Some were turned around because they didn’t have appointments. Others were ushered to beachfront drive-thru tents where suited-up health workers swabbed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It’s the new normal. Suffolk County, Staten Island and Rockland County will soon follow.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

With testing ramping up, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s priority now is increasing hospital beds and ICU capacity. Its 53,000 beds are not enough to meet peak demand expected in 45 days.

“Fifty-five thousand to 110,000 hospital beds will be needed at that point. That, my friends, is the problem,” Cuomo said.

With nearly 20% of cases hospitalized, Cuomo says to flatten the curve, he is considering more dramatic closings, but not citywide quarantines. There will be statewide uniformity.

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“I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city,” Cuomo said.

Securing ventilators is also a daunting challenge, along with a surging need for health care workers.

The state is asking retired doctors and nurses to volunteer to help amid a call to put aside partisan politics.


Cuomo is discussing with the president the need for federal help.

“We cannot do this on our own,” Cuomo said. “I spoke to the president this morning again. He is ready, willing and able to help … I think the president was 100% sincere in saying that he wanted to work together.”

This emotional appeal amid life was life is turned upside down.

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“Everybody is afraid. Everybody is nervous. How you respond, how you act, this is a character test for all of us individually. It is a character test for us collectively as a society,” Cuomo said. “The reason it’s so important is, it’s my mother, it’s your mother. These are the people who built this society and we honor them with every cell in our body and we’re going to do everything we can do to make sure they are here with us.”