New York will set up COVID-19 testing sites for incoming passengers at its two largest airports as part of the latest effort to stop travelers from bringing the coronavirus to the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the sites slated for John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in Queens, saying it will allow the state to more quickly determine whether incoming travelers have the virus at the center of a global pandemic.
“We’re actually setting up testing sites at our airports. We’ll be able to do faster testing of people coming in, including hospital staff,” Cuomo said Monday at a news conference on Long Island.
Cuomo did not offer details on the cost for inbound travelers or what happens when someone tests positive. Nor did he say when the programs will be officially rolled out.
However, the agency is already undergoing a testing program with XpresCheck that launched at JFK’s Terminal 4 at the end of June.
The JFK program expanded to all travelers last week.
The Port Authority opened a similar testing facility for workers at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal B last week, and it plans to expand it to travelers soon as well.
Passengers wear safety gear to fend off coronavirus as they wait in line to check in for their flights, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at JFK airport in New York.
New York was the hardest-hit state in the early days of the pandemic, with more than 25,000 state residents succumbing to COVID-19 since the beginning of March.
Since then, the state has lowered its infection rate to one of the lowest in the country and implemented a strict quarantine order for travelers from states with higher COVID-19 rates, requiring them to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in New York.
Those coming in on flights from the affected states are required to fill out a form with their local contact information and where they intend to quarantine. Failure to fill out the form before leaving the airport can result in a $2,000 fine.
Cuomo said the coronavirus testing sites at JFK and LaGuardia will be set up by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (which operates the airports) and New York City Health + Hospitals, which operates the city’s public hospitals and clinics.
The Port Authority said it has been working with state and city officials “to find ways to expand testing at its facilities, and we hope to see these testing facilities for both travelers and airport workers come online in the coming weeks.”
More: Delaware, Alaska added to quarantine list for NY, NJ and CT
Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.
Support local journalism
We cover the stories from the New York State Capitol and across New York that matter most to you and your family. Please consider supporting our efforts with a subscription to the New York publication nearest you. Check out the latest offer.
This article originally appeared on New York State Team: JFK, LaGuardia to get COVID-19 testing sites for incoming travelers