NYC expands free COVID-19 testing for all New Yorkers

Posted On Wed, June 3, 2020 By

Posted On Wed, June 3, 2020 By In Policy

COVID-19 testing site sat the Highbridge Recreation Center in Manhattan on May 19, 2020. Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

All New Yorkers will now be able to get tested for the coronavirus for free, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The universal testing is part of the city’s Test and Trace Corps program, which launched on Monday and remains a critical component of the city’s reopening, expected to start on June 8. There are about 150 testing sites across the five boroughs, with the ability to test 20,000 people total each day.

The open testing program is the first time COVID-19 testing is available for anyone in the city regardless of showing symptoms or level of priority. Residents can visit NYC.gov/CovidTest to find a testing site near them.

An interactive test site finder lets New Yorkers put in an address to find the nearest location, as well as contact information for the site and a link to more details. You can also call 311 to find a testing site.

“Widespread testing holds the key to re-opening our city safely,” de Blasio said in a statement. “After months of fighting, we are finally able to say that every New Yorker who needs a test will get one. Now with Test & Trace now up and running, we will be able to care for those who test positive and give them the support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

As of June 1, the city said 1,700 contact tracers have been deployed across the boroughs, with a focus on neighborhoods who have been hit hardest by the virus. By the end of the week, the mayor said there will be 2,500 more tracers, with an additional 1,200 by next week.

The effort involves finding close contacts of someone who tested positive for the virus, and then interviewing and testing them as well. The city will also provide a safe place to isolate if not possible at home, which could mean in a hotel. Meals, medical support, laundry, and pet services will be provided if needed.

The number of people hospitalized in the city for COVID dropped to 39 on June 1, the “lowest number” the mayor said he’s seen since the outbreak began. Plus, the number of New Yorkers in public ICU’s had dropped below the set threshold of 375 to 355 as of Monday.

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