NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city now has a new facility to help ease the burden of testing for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas got an inside look at the new Pandemic Response Lab, which can process 10,000 rapid tests a day.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio toured the lab, which is a flurry of activity. It’s a partnership between a robotics company and NYU that transformed a once-empty space back in September. It can process up to 20,000 COVID tests per day, with results coming back in even less time.

If needed, capacity can increase to 100,000 tests daily in a matter of weeks.

“I can safely say we couldn’t reopen schools without a facility like this,” de Blasio said.


The lab ensures the city can accommodate the more stringent testing requirements in schools, as students will return to class on Monday.

Parents will get results within two days, all while not delaying results for residents getting tested across the city because the lab is open 24-7, including holidays.

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Not only does the lab increase the city’s testing capacity, it also cuts cost. Each test costs $28 versus the $100 price tag at national labs, officials said, without compromising the quality or time.

“It was put together to address the coronavirus here in New York City by New Yorkers because we couldn’t depend on the federal government,” de Blasio said.

As COVID cases and hospitalizations increase across the city, and surge across the country, local leaders are learning from the first wave. They hope this time, with more resources, better technology and science, they’re more prepared.

The lab is not the only one in the city, but it will help as there’s an increased push for testing.

So far, it has created more than 100 new jobs.

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