May medical assistants be delegated nasopharyngeal swabbing to check for COVID-19 in New York? Consider the following excerpt from an executive order issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on declaring a state disaster emergency:
I hereby temporarily suspend or modify, from the date of this Executive Order through April 6, 2020,* the following:
Sections 6521 and 6902 of the Education Law, to the extent necessary to permit unlicensed individuals, upon completion of training deemed adequate by the Commissioner of Health, to collect throat or nasopharyngeal swab specimens from individuals suspected of being infected by COVID-19, for purposes of testing; and to the extent necessary to permit non-nursing staff, upon completion of training deemed adequate by the Commissioner of Health, to perform tasks, under the supervision of a nurse, otherwise limited to the scope of practice of a licensed or registered nurse;
*Note: The above executive order has been extended to June 21, 2020, and is subject to further extension by the governor (New York State Education Department).
My legal opinion is that this executive order applies to medical assistants because they are not licensed under New York law.
If your state has similar executive orders or legislation, this New York example can apply to you. Check with the AAMA State Scope of Practice Laws webpage to find key legislative materials for your state.