Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
The city will offer 140,000 free antibody tests to “everyday New Yorkers” in the coming weeks to help understand the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. In partnership with BioReference Laboratories, the city will open initial testing sites in five neighborhoods with the goal of 1,000 tests per site per day. An additional 140,000 tests will also be available for the city’s first responders and health care workers next week.
Starting next week, the antibody testing sites will open in Morrisania, East New York, Upper Manhattan, Concord, and Long Island City, with specific details about the locations still to come. According to the mayor, the five sites will be able to test up to 5,000 people per day, with the initial goal of 70,000 people tested over the next two weeks and then repeated in early June.
Tests, which involve a blood sample, are only available by making an appointment, which will be able to be scheduled starting Friday, and priority will be given to residents of the neighborhood. Individual results will be received in 24 to 48 hours.
The antibody tests are used to determine whether someone has contracted COVID-19 and recovered, even without showing any symptoms. Preliminary test results released last month suggested that 21 percent of New York City residents had the virus at one point and recovered.
Last week, de Blasio announced a plan to offer 140,000 antibody tests to first responders and health care workers, which was scheduled to start this week. The mayor on Thursday said those tests, coordinated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, will now begin this week.
- Preliminary test results suggest 21.2% of NYC residents have COVID antibodies
- Most new COVID cases in New York are non-essential workers staying at home
- NYC is handing out 7.5 million free face coverings