New York has more testing capacity than New Yorkers are using, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
Some drive-in sites that can do 50,000 COVID-19 tests daily are only doing about 5,000 a day, the governor said.
To urge those eligible to get the COVID-19 swab test — often described as unpleasant — the governor demonstrated getting one live during his daily coronavirus briefing.
“This test is not an invasive test. There’s no pain to this test,” Cuomo said before the test. “This is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test. It’s fast and easy, and so fast and so easy that even the governor can take this test. That’s how fast and easy it is.”
A doctor wearing personal protective equipment then collected a sample from the governor using a deep nasal swab.
“That is the whole test. I’m not in pain and discomfort,” Cuomo said after the seconds-long test was administered. “There’s no reason why you should not get the test. You don’t even have to be New York tough to take that test.”
New York state has more than 700 testing sites and is performing up to 40,000 tests a day, Cuomo said. The state also has formed a partnership with CVS, the governor announced Sunday; more than 60 CVS pharmacies across the state will be able to do 50 or more tests a day.
New Yorkers eligible for the diagnostic test include anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, those who have had contact with someone with a confirmed case, a person in a precautionary or mandatory quarantine, health care workers, first responders, nursing home employees and essential workers. Additionally, those who are returning to work during Phase 1 of the state’s reopening, such as construction or manufacturing workers, are now also eligible, the governor announced.