June 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
All New Yorkers can now be tested for the novel coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The mayor said that anyone can be tested for COVID-19 at any of the more than 150 sites across the five boroughs. COVID-19 testing, he noted, was previously prioritized for the elderly or those with underlying conditions because New York had a limited supply of tests.
De Blasio made the announcement as the city prepares to begin reopening Monday.
Universal testing will prevent a second wave of the virus when the city reopens, he said.
“Widespread testing holds the key to re-opening our city safely” de Blasio said. “After months of fighting, we are finally able to say that every New Yorker who needs a test will get one.”
Residents are advised to visit nyc.gov/CovidTest or call 3-1-1 to find the testing sites near them. Testing is free for those without insurance and requires no out-of-pocket cost for those with coverage.
The city has also deployed 1,700 contact tracers to work hand-in-hand with test sites. The tracers will work with people who have tested positive to find out who they have been in contact with.
Together, the testers and tracers form what the city is calling a “Test & Trace Corps.”
“A key step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is quickly identifying new cases and anyone they’ve been in close contact with,” said Executive Director of Test & Trace Corps Dr. Ted Long.
Members of the corps will call and text daily with COVID-19-positive New Yorkers who are self-isolating. Tracers will monitor patients’ recovery, ensure that they are isolating and connect them with supportive services as necessary.
The city is also offering 1,200 free hotel rooms for those who are unable to self-isolate due to crowded living conditions.
Any doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistants across the city can email [email protected] to refer a patient to a hotel room.
New Yorkers without a doctor can call the city’s COVID-19 hotline at 844-692-4692 and ask for the COVID hotel program to secure a room as well.