New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wants more New Yorkers to get tested for COVID-19 ― and in an effort to encourage them, he got tested during a nationally televised press briefing on Sunday.
A doctor dressed in full personal protective equipment administered a nasal swab diagnostic test for coronavirus on the governor, a process that took less than 15 seconds.
“That is the whole test,” Cuomo said before resuming the news conference. “I’m not in pain; I’m not in discomfort. Closing my eyes was a moment of relaxation. There is no reason why you should not get the test.”
The state has dramatically ramped up testing capacity to reach 40,000 tests per day, with more than 700 testing sites across New York, the governor’s office said in a statement. However, Cuomo noted that some of this expanded testing capacity is going unused.
While he said he understood that some might harbor reluctance to seek testing, Cuomo tried to demonstrate that “there is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test.”
“It is so fast and so easy that even a governor can take this test,” he said.
The governor also announced broader criteria that would allow more people to qualify for testing, a cornerstone of the state’s effort to contain the spread of the virus as businesses resume. As regions in upstate New York move to Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan, anyone who works in an industry that will return to work can now be tested, as well as anyone displaying any COVID-19 symptom. The criteria was also expanded to include anyone exposed to someone infected with the virus, essential and healthcare workers, and those subject to precautionary or mandatory quarantines.
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