New York Gov Andrew Cuomo was tested for the coronavirus during a press briefing on Sunday as he called on New Yorkers to visit one of the city’s more than 700 testing sites to receive a COVID-19 test.
Cuomo received a test in order to demonstrate how ‘easy’ and ‘fast’ it is to get one done.
‘Some people just don’t like to go to the doctor and don’t like to get tested. There is a reluctance to go to a doctor’s office,’ Cuomo said, admitting that even he isn’t good at going to the doctor regularly.
‘There is no pain to this test. There is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test. It is fast. It is easy. It is so fast and easy that even a governor can take this test.
‘And for you doubting Thomases, which is what you all are,’ Cuomo said, speaking to the reporters in the room, ‘I’m going to show you how fast and easy it is to take a test and demonstrate why there should be no reluctance.’
He is then seen rising from his chair as a doctor walks over and prepares to administer the test.
New York Gov Andrew Cuomo was tested for the coronavirus during a press briefing on Sunday as he called on New Yorkers to visit one of the city’s more than 700 testing sites to receive a COVID-19 test
‘The new problem is we have more sites and more testing capacity than we’re using. We have drive-thru sites that can do about 15,000 [tests] per day. We’re doing about 5,000 per day,’ Cuomo said
The doctor is heard telling Cuomo to hold his head back and close his eyes for ‘comfort’ before she is seen inserting a swab into his nose.
‘That’s it?’ he asks the doctor, who then responds: ‘Yea.’ Cuomo then turns to his audience and says: ‘Told you!’
Cuomo said he wanted to demonstrate how easy and fast the testing is because New Yorkers are not getting tested.
‘The new problem is we have more sites and more testing capacity than we’re using. We have drive-thru sites that can do about 15,000 [tests] per day. We’re doing about 5,000 per day,’ Cuomo said.
‘The more tests, the better for the state, the better for society, the better for your family, the better for you. Who can get a test today? Any individual who thinks they have a COVID symptom.’
Cuomo continued: ‘They can’t say it’s inconvenient because we have 700 sites. They can’t say they’re not eligible because if you have any symptoms you’re eligible.’
All New Yorkers experiencing flu-like symptoms or other signs of coronavirus, such as a dry cough or chest pains, are now eligible to be tested for the disease, along with people who will be returning to work as part of phased reopenings across the state.
In all, the state is testing about 40,000 people per day. An agreement with CVS will allow samples to be collected at more than 60 pharmacies across the state, Cuomo said.
In the seven regions where restrictions have been eased, in central and upstate New York, construction and manufacturing work was allowed to resume, and retail businesses offering curbside pickup or in-store pickup for orders placed ahead were allowed to reopen
There are 1.5 million cases of the virus in the US with at least 89,549 deaths
Testing in New York City is also being expanded to 123 CityMD walk-in clinics.
Driven by the impact in New York City, the state has accounted for more than one-third of the nearly 90,000 American who have died from COVID-19.
Statewide, the outbreak is ebbing, with coronavirus hospitalizations falling to 6,220, more than a third of the level at the peak one month ago, state data showed.
In the seven regions where restrictions have been eased, in central and upstate New York, construction and manufacturing work was allowed to resume, and retail businesses offering curbside pickup or in-store pickup for orders placed ahead were allowed to reopen.
New York, along with the nearby states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, will partially reopen beaches for the Memorial Day holiday weekend on May 23-25, Cuomo has said.
New York’s Watkins Glen International auto race circuit and several horse racing tracks in the state can reopen without fans from June 1, the governor said on Saturday.
Cuomo warned that with an increase in economic activity, New Yorkers should expect an increase in coronavirus cases.
‘We don’t want to see a spike,’ he said. ‘It depends on how people react and it depends on their personal behavior.’
Meanwhile, New York City residents who flouted social distancing restrictions for a night on the town got Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wrath on Sunday.
Meanwhile, New York City residents who flouted social distancing restrictions for a night on the town got Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wrath on Sunday
This photo shows the scene at East 84th Street in Manhattan where dozens of people were seen not wearing masks and hanging out near restaurants and bars
Several people were seen hanging out near Brady’s sports bar in Manhattan on Saturday
De Blasio admonished people seen crowding outside bars Saturday night, many with drinks in hand but no masks on their faces, for putting lives in danger.
Officials may go so far as to shut down establishments that are violating social distancing rules, de Blasio said, asking residents to call 311, the city’s non-emergency hotline, if they see such crowding.
Bars and restaurants in the city have been restricted to takeout and delivery service since mid-March, when coronavirus cases started to soar, but some in Manhattan were allowing people to dine and drink inside on Saturday.
‘We’re not going to tolerate people starting to congregate. It’s as simple as that,’ de Blasio said. ‘If we have to shut places down, we will.’
Beaches on Long Island and in other parts of the region will be open for the holiday, but de Blasio said opening the city’s grand strands for swimming and merriment ‘is not safe’ and ‘is not the right thing to do in the epicenter of this crisis.’
In fact, de Blasio said, the city’s beaches could be closed off completely to public access if people don’t follow social distancing rules.
Fencing is being installed at entrance ways and could be rolled out if beaches – meant now only for nearby residents to get some exercise – get overcrowded or people violate swimming bans, he said.
De Blasio said beaches could open for wider use sometime in the summer, with lifeguard training over the next few weeks for a possible return to duty.