New York Gov. Cuomo says state will open coronavirus testing to all George Floyd protesters

New York Gov. Cuomo says state will open coronavirus testing to all George Floyd protesters

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press briefing on COVID-19 at Madison Boys and Girls Club in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on May 28, 2020.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

New York is expanding its testing facilities to the thousands of people who participated in recent George Floyd protests, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. 

Floyd’s May 25 killing at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked international demonstrations that have drawn tens of thousands of protesters in cities across the U.S. and Europe. Cuomo said the protests drew about 20,000 people in New York City alone and more across the state.  

“You have 30,000 people who have been protesting statewide … Many of them wear masks, thank God, but there’s no social distancing. You look at the encounters with the police. The police are right in their face. They’re right in the face of the police,” Cuomo said at a news briefing.

Cuomo has previously warned New York residents that the mass protests could threaten the state’s reopening plan and progress in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. 

The total number hospitalizations across New York continues to fall with 52 deaths on June 3, up slightly from Tuesday, Cuomo said. 

While the course of the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have slowed, Cuomo emphasized the importance of staying vigilant as the state continues reopening in phases.

“We’re making great progress, but as fast as these numbers come down is as fast as those numbers go up,” he said.

As heated protests continue to shake Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, New York City extended its curfew through the end of the week. The curfews take effect at 8 p.m. and will be lifted at 5 a.m. The city is still on track to begin “phase one” reopening on June 8. 

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

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