Dozens of sites will be conducting rapid Covid-19 tests in an effort to help the economy reopen quickly, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.
Twenty-five sites were scheduled to open around the state on Thursday under the New York Forward Rapid Test Program. Another 10, including BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 753 Fort Salonga Road, Northport, are expected to open in the next two weeks.
Dr. Jan Dauer, associate chair of emergency medicine for Northwell’s Plainview and Syosset hospitals, said that results from a rapid antigen test can be received in a matter of minutes, with an overall sensitivity rate of 80 to 90 percent.
The other test used for Covid-19 screening, the PCR test, which Jan Dauer called the “more accurate gold standard,” can take much longer to yield results.
The PCR test is “definitely more sensitive but takes more time. so it’s mpractical for the screening someone to get into a venue such as a concert, seeing something at Times Square, sports events, or even flying,” he said.
Several of these sites will open nearby or at arenas, stadiums, and venues, complementing the state’s reopening guidance, which allows professional sports competitions with fans and other entertainment events to resume if all attendees present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or immunization, as well as follow additional health and safety protocols, including social distancing, face coverings, and health screening.
Professional sports competitions in major stadiums and arenas were permitted to resume on Feb. 23; while wedding receptions and catered events, were permitted to resume on March 15. Regional sports venues that hold 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors, are permitted to re-open beginning Thursday, and performing arts and entertainment venues, are permitted to reopen beginning Friday.