Non-essential medical procedures are now back up in operation here in the Mohawk Valley with some new safety precautions. One of those new safety measures included an active COVID-19 test before any procedure. WIBX's Bill Keeler was administered coronavirus test on Sunday and caught it on tape.

Keeler is scheduled for an upcoming colonoscopy this week, 17 months after colorectal cancer surgery last year. The colonoscopy was delayed in March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now, with the preventative procedure back on the schedule, many new restrictions have been implemented to keep people safe from the coronavirus.

The Mohawk Valley Endo Center requires patients wear masks when they enter the facility, family and friends are not allowed into the waiting room and a COVID-19 test is required prior to the procedure.

On Sunday, Keeler drove up to the testing tent located in the parking lot of Digestive Disease Medicine of CNY in the Utica Business Park, for a 9:30 a.m. appointment. The patient parks and doesn't exit the car and a nurse immediately comes to the window to confirm identity. A series of questions are asked regarding out-of-country travel and potential contact with people in hot spots around the country. The nurse then retrieved the testing kit and returned to car window to explain how the test would be implemented.

"I'm gonna make your eyes water. It's going to burn like you swallowed chlorine through your nose," the nurse said. "I won't hurt you, just don't hold your breath because that will clinch your nose." Keeler asked if she could administer the test in the right nostril, because of a previous nasal injury.  "Any one you prefer," she said.

The nurse put about four inches of the swab into the nasal cavity and swirled it around to get the proper sample. The swab was inside the nostril for a total of six seconds. Keeler said it was uncomfortable but it wasn't painful.

"My eyes did tear up and it did have kind of a feeling of the burning sensation you get when you breath in chlorinated water," said Keeler. "I felt like the nurse was sensitive, prepped me for the test and did a great job. It really was quick and painless. It's never going to be something I look forward to; but, it's absolutely nothing to worry about."

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