New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on local health departments to get ready for double-duty this fall and winter. 

Conrad Cress

In anticipation of this year’s flu season, the Democrat is directing the Department of health to send letters to county health departments to make sure they are ready to perform both influenza and COVID-19 tests at the same time. 

Local health departments have already been stretched since the outbreak of the coronavirus with testing and contact tracing.  That stress is being ramped up now with the return of college students to communities and preparations for a restart of in-class instruction in public schools. 

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The state health department is requesting details about plans for the fall that have been developed by the local health departments and anticipated problems to be submitted to Albany by 3 p.m. August 26.