COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing Now Available To All New Yorkers

All New Yorkers are entitled to universal COVID-19 testing as part of the New York City’s newly-launched Test & Trace Corps initiative, Mayor de Blasio announced on Tuesday. 

The initiative went into effect June 1 and includes 150 testing sites around the city. Testing locations can be found here or by calling 311. Results are typically returned within 48 hours.

In addition to the testing sites, approximately 1,700 contact tracers have been enlisted to track contacts of people who have tested positive for the virus.

“A key step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is quickly identifying new cases and anyone they’ve been in close contact with across the diversity of our populations,” according to Test & Trace Corps executive director Ted Long.  People who test positive for COVID-19 can take advantage of the Take Care program designed to help New Yorkers safely quarantine in their homes or in hotels. Resource navigators from 15 community organizations will help patients in quarantine take care of basic needs (e.g.getting food and prescription refills). For those unable to safely quarantine at home, the city is offering free rooms in “take care hotels” as they recover. 

Health-care providers should email to refer patients to a room. Symptomatic New Yorkers who don’t have a doctor should call 844-692-4692 and ask for the COVID hotel program.

It’s probably smart to make that call sooner rather than later, as the program has limited capacity at the launch, although the city aims to expand it by late summer.

photo: iStock