Governor Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend that tests for the coronavirus will expand considerably in New York. Here’s how it will work and will impact the eventual reopening of the Empire State, according to state health officials.
Q. If you are tested, is the result automatically saved to some sort of database?
A. Yes, your result will be saved to a state and county database via an electronic laboratory reporting system. The database includes your name.
Q. If your test is positive, what happens?
A. You should be informed of your result by your county health department and ordered to quarantine for 14 days from the date of your last symptom. You will also be asked who you came into personal contact with and to what extent. At least some of these people can also be quarantined.
Local health services usually require some sort of daily monitoring, including phone calls, text messages or even an in-person visit.
At this point, a negative test is not required to complete your quarantine.
Q. How does this affect the reopening of the state?
A. Testing is just one piece of the puzzle, officials say. It will be used as a marker to help indicate whether the virus continues to thrive, as well as factors such as hospitalization and death rates.
Q. Is there a specific number of tests that health officials say should be done before the state reopens?
A. No. Test results will be continuously monitored with other major factors to see what the trend is.
Q. Is it clear that COVID-19 leaves survivors with antibodies so that they cannot catch up?
A. Tests are still underway to determine whether this is the case and whether the antibodies produced could provide lifetime protection against COVID-19 or if there may be a time limit on this coverage.