For a while, there weren’t nearly enough testing sites for COVID-19—either in the country, or in New York State. So Governor Cuomo went to Washington and cut a deal with the White House: he’d take responsibility for setting up the sites and doing the testing, if the federal government would see to it that the state got the proper equipment and coagents needed to test.
There are now 700 testing sites across the state, including drive-in sites capable of doing 15,000 tests a day. Currently, these sites are doing only about a third of that. Cuomo’s response is to relax the requirements to get tested. “Who can get a test today? Any individual who thinks they have a COVID symptom,” said the governor on Sunday. “COVID symptoms: coughing, sneezing, fever. What else? Sneezing, coughing, chest pain, cough – because COVID symptoms are basically like flu symptoms. If you think you have symptoms, get a test. Get a test.”
There are seven testing sites in the rivertowns area, ranging from Dobbs Ferry to Ossining. (See map above) More information can be found at the Health Department’s web site: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing. For those fearful of discomfort caused by the procedure, Cuomo allowed a physician to administer the swab test right there at his press conference. He did not flinch.
Concern about discomfort or the overall safety of the testing procedure may be part of the disparity. Another may be a lagging perception that there is still a shortage of available tests. New York is apparently not alone in having this problem. The Washington Post reports that testing capacity in at least a dozen states outstrips the number of people asking to be tested.