New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Saturday that New York is going to authorize the use of independent pharmacists to be collection sites for coronavirus testing as the state expands capacity in labs.

What he's saying; "We're going to authorize all the independent pharmacists in the state to be collection sites for testing. I assume ... my educated guess is that independent pharmacists will take us up on this, and there are 5,000 pharmacies in New York state.

  • "Some of them have already been doing it, some of the larger national chains, but if your local drugstore can now become a collection site ... that would quickly ramp up our collection capacity."

The big picture via Axios' Caitlin Owens: Testing failures allowed the coronavirus outbreak to spread in the U.S. without detection, almost certainly making it worse than it would have been otherwise.

Go deeper: We're still behind on coronavirus testing

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Aug 2, 2020 - Health

Birx: U.S. has entered new phase of coronavirus pandemic

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said Sunday on CNN that the U.S. has shifted into a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections have spread further into rural areas than in March and April.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections in rural communities have surpassed the number of cases in big cities — and areas in the U.S. with fewer coronavirus testing sites were predominately rural as of May.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Top Fed official: Short, sharp coronavirus lockdown will enable recovery

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari in New York City last October. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

A top Federal Reserve official told CBS Sunday that a "really hard" four- to six-week lockdown could benefit the U.S. economy as Congress "has the resources to support those who are most hurting" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details: Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari said a short lockdown "could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that it's happening in the Northeast right now."