Gov. Cuomo got tested for Covid-19 at a press conference to show how easy it is
(CNN) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a test for Covid-19 at a press conference on Sunday in an attempt to demonstrate the ease of the procedure and encourage people to get tested.
"There is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test. It is fast, it is easy," he said. "It is so fast and so easy that even a governor can take this test."
Cuomo then stood and introduced Dr. Elizabeth DuFort, decked in full personal protective equipment, including a gown, gloves and mask. DuFort put a long swab, known as a nasopharyngeal swab, deep into Cuomo's nose for about five seconds.
"That is the whole test. I'm not in pain. I'm not in discomfort," he said afterward. "You don't even have to be New York tough to take that test."
The swab is just the first part of the diagnostic PCR test, the most common and most accurate test for determining whether someone is infected with the novel coronavirus. To complete the test, that swab sample would then be sent to a lab with access to a test kit to determine if the novel coronavirus is present. In general, the entire testing process takes a day or more.
Cuomo said New York, the epicenter of the American coronavirus outbreak, has more than 700 testing sites across the state and met its target of 40,000 tests per day. As a percentage of its population, New York has tested more than any other state, Cuomo said.
Still, he said, there is more testing capacity that is going unused.
"We have more sites and more testing capacity than we're using," he said.
In New York, testing is available to anyone who thinks they have a Covid-19 symptom or anyone who has had contact with a person known to be positive with Covid-19. Tests are also available for essential workers who interact with the public as well as anyone who would return to work in the state's Phase 1 reopening, which includes workers in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and some retail.
Cuomo said increasing testing will ensure that the state is able to monitor and control the virus's spread and mitigate any outbreaks.
"The more tests, the better for the state, the better for society, the better for your family, the better for you," he said.
Parts of upstate New York began to reopen on Friday after meeting seven criteria based on declining cases, hospital space and testing and contract tracing capability. New York City has met just three of those seven metrics as of Sunday.
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