New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is showing people just how easy, and quick, it can be to get tested for the novel coronavirus.
During his daily press briefing on Sunday, Cuomo shared that while the state now has over 700 testing sites, only a fraction of New Yorkers are actually taking advantage of it.
“The new problem is we have more sites and more testing capacity than we’re using, okay? It’s a good problem,” he said, before going on to address the reasons why some who may meet the standards for testing have been reluctant to follow through.
“Some people just don’t like to go to the doctor and don’t like to get tested,” he said, admitting that he too falls into this category. “I am not good at this, but this test is not an invasive test. There is no pain to this test. There is nothing about this test that should intimidate people."
And to prove he meant what he said, he went on to invite a doctor, who was wearing full PPE, to administer the test right then and there.
After instructing Cuomo to lean his head back slightly and close his eyes, as the testing might make him tear up slightly, the doctor swabbed the politician's nostril — and within seconds, he was done.
“That’s it?” Cuomo asked as the doctor replied, “That’s it.”
“Told you,” Cuomo responded. “That is the whole test. 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.”
During the briefing, Cuomo said that all healthcare and emergency workers are currently eligible for testing, as are any New Yorker who thinks they have a COVID-19 symptom. As of Sunday, the list has also expanded to include all individuals who would return to work in phase 1 of the reopening process, which includes construction, manufacturing and curbside retail workers.
Although New York now has over 700 testing centers across the state, and can perform up to 40,000 tests a day, readily available testing is still an issue in most of the U.S.
As of May 17, there have been just over 11 million COVID-19 tests administered across the country, according to the COVID Tracking Project — which is a relatively low number considering the U.S. population of 329 million people. Additionally, many of those tests may have been administered on the same person — a COVID-19 patient who leaves the hospital will have been tested at least three times, and President Donald Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, are tested daily.
Although the majority of states have already begun the process of reopening, health experts have repeatedly said that sufficient testing and contact tracing is needed before the U.S. can begin to reopen, or the country may enter a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
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