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Workers returning in phase one eligible to get tested for Covid-19

If you're going back to work because your employer will be reopening in the state's first reopening phase, you are eligible to get tested for Covid-19.

With Western New York apparently ready to start the gradual reopening process sometime this week, those who work in several industries can be tested, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

State officials have not yet specified a date when the Western New York region, defined by the state as Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, can start to reopen.

The categories of businesses being allowed to reopen in the first phase are construction; manufacturing; retail; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; and wholesale trade.

The state has a website to search for test site locations in your area. The website is

State officials recommend individuals call the site or their health care provider before going to the test site.

New York presently has the capacity to do more testing than is actually being conducted, Cuomo said Sunday.

For the purposes of reopening, the state has divided into 10 regions, five of which began reopening on Friday.

On Sunday, Cuomo said Western New York has met six of seven criteria to begin reopening, though it still needs to increase the number of people working as contact tracers.

Contact tracers will be used to help reduce the spread of new Covid-19 cases. The work includes making phone calls to individuals who have recently been diagnosed with the illness to determine with whom the infected individuals have had close contact. Phone calls are then made to those individuals to urge them to take precautions.

[Related: Here are the types of businesses that are allowed to reopen in the first phase]

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