In a move which aims to encourage New Yorkers to undergo testing for COVID-19, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo got tested on live TV amid the press briefing held in Albany, Sunday.
While the cameras are rolling and focusing on him, Cuomo closed his eyes while standing still as the doctor, who was fully equipped with protective equipment performed the sample collection and inserted the sample collector through his nose. After this, the governor returned to his seat not showing any signs of distress.
Cuomo then spoke to the press and explained that that is the entire sampling. He noted that it was not painful in any way neither did it caused him any discomfort. Moreover, he stressed that there is no reason for people not to go through with the testing.
Cuomo's actions and statements were a little contradictory to what was previously stated by doctors who encouraged New Yorkers that those who have mild to no symptoms should just stay at home rather than risk being infected or infecting others while seeking the test. However, the increase in the capacity of testing has changed the tide and health officials are now encouraging people to get tested in order for them to know the true severity of the outbreak.
On top of this, Gov. Cuomo stated that more people will now be qualified to get tested in any of the 700 walk-in and drive-in testing sites all over the state.
Phase 1 Workers Eligible for Testing.
As the re-opening plan of New York is set to enter its Phase 1, workers who belong to industries that are allowed to operate are eligible for testing. They would be prioritized in testing along with those who exhibit symptoms or anyone who has had contact with confirmed positive patients.
Industries allowed to operate in Phase 1 are agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade. Five regions in the state of New York is now set to enter the first phase of the economic reopening, while two more regions only need a bigger capacity to contact trace before they would be eligible to enter Phase 1.
In order to help people verify if they are eligible to get tested, the state government launched a website. People can also use the website to find the nearest testing site.
According to Cuomo, at the moment, New York is able to conduct around 40,000 tests in a single day. Moreover, state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker stated that if private laboratories are included the state has a testing capacity of around 80,000 to 90,000 in a day.
COVID-19 in New York.
During the said press briefing, Cuomo also updated the press on the current situation of the state regarding COVID-19. He noted that on Sunday, 139 additional fatalities were reported, this marks the lowest daily death toll since March.
Cuomo also stated that aside from the number of deaths the number of new patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized has also declined to only 374.
Related article: Governor Cuomo Talks Up New York's Decline in Hospitalizations