Imagine sometime this summer going to a game at Yankee Stadium, taking in a concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or watching a race at Watkins Glen. Before you enter the event space, a quick COVID test is taken to show you are not positive.
That's the future Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out on Tuesday as he delivered another portion of his State of the State address this week.
Those scenarios -- attending a sporting event or a concert -- are still speculative. It's not clear how the rapid testing would work for thousands of people at multiple events and as of now those tests are no guarantee against a false negative.
But Cuomo was optimistic some version of normal can be achieved this year as vaccine shots have been slow to enter New Yorkers' arms.
"Testing is the key to reopening our economy before the vaccine hits critical mass. Rapid testing poses great possibilities," Cuomo said. "It can be completed in as little as 15 minutes."
And Cuomo wants to provide more help for the performing arts as well, as Broadway theaters and concert venues have been closed since last March. He announced plans to hold a series of events with musicians and celebrities.
"One thing is clear: We must act. We can't wait until the summer to turn the lights back on for the arts and provide a living wage for artists," Cuomo said.
Business leaders in New York see promise in the plan, but are skeptical. It's not yet clear if, say, the Buffalo Bills playoff game used as a model for this plan will ultimately be something that can be replicated across the state.
"I'm not sure every event is going to be translatable," said Justin Wilcox, the executive director of Unshakle Upstate. "But I can certainly see this being used if we have enough tests and have five minutes between the time they get a test and get a result, I can see businesses opening up safely."
The Business Council's Ken Pokalsky also said the idea has merit and could aid businesses like bars and restaurants that rely on live events for customers. But he's less confident it could work for offices -- a goal that Cuomo said would once again restart commutes and aid mass transit systems along the way.
"You're still going to be finding cases because of the spike and the need for people to get vaccinated will still cause a disruption in the workplace," Pokalsky said.
Cuomo plans to deliver the final two portions of his State of the State address on Wednesday and Thursday.