President Biden said he would set up new federal coronavirus testing sites across the country to downplay the Omicron version of the coronavirus. The first of these sites will open in New York City before Christmas.
The move comes after New York City officials announced they would open an additional 23 coronavirus testing sites by the end of the week to try to meet growing demand as people seek to know their status ahead of holiday travel and indoor gatherings. run for.
“Testing helps us on many levels,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Monday. “It helps to make sure that everyone knows where they stand. On a personal level, when you have a test, you know what’s going on, you know what to do.”
By the end of this week, New Yorkers will have 112 city-run sites, spread across all five boroughs and opened in a variety of settings, including health care facilities, schools, libraries and community centers.
The city estimates that more than 130,000 people are being tested daily at city sites, double the number from three weeks ago. New Yorkers have access to hundreds of private testing sites across the city.
Here’s how to test for COVID-19 in New York.
Who can get the test done?
Essentially everyone, including people who don’t live in New York, whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 or not. But some sites have minimum age requirements, which are listed on the city’s coronavirus portal.
where can i go?
You can find a list of city-run and privately run test locations on the city’s portal. You can also message 855-48 by typing “COVID TEST”.
Each site has to specify what tests are available and when results can be expected. The portal also lists whether an appointment is needed to visit a particular place and whether there are other requirements such as screening to see if you were recently exposed to the virus or doctor’s orders for tests.
Hours for each site are also listed. NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health locations and saliva self-testing sites will kick off testing on Friday at 2 p.m. All mobile testing sites will be closed on Christmas Day.
While city-run sites are at no cost, some private testers do charge a fee. Bad weather may also force some places to close. City officials encourage people to call a testing site before leaving.
December 21, 2021, 11:54 am ET
How can I tell if a private testing site is reputable?
The New York State Department of Health is in charge of regulating all private testing sites, including sites in New York City.
But some testing sites have come under scrutiny recently. New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday issued a warning to LabQ Diagnostics, a Brooklyn-based lab with testing sites across the city, over false advertising. The company’s website advertises test results within 48 hours, but some people have reported waiting more than 96 hours.
How long do I have to wait?
Many New Yorkers have seen them snake around the block at test sites, and the wait can sometimes exceed two hours.
Coronavirus pandemic: Key things to know
Wait times at NYC Health + Hospitals locations can be tracked using this dashboard. For example, the site lists test locations with no reported wait times, as well as sites with wait times greater than two hours. The workers aim to update the expected wait times every two hours.
How do I get the test at home?
New Yorkers with certain underlying health conditions or over the age of 65 can schedule an in-home appointment by calling 929-298-9400, seven days a week, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
At-home tests can also be ordered online through one of five different vendors: Hims & Hers, Pixel by LabCorp, QuestDirect by QuestDiagnostics, Vault Health or Zeel. The cost of the tests largely depends on what insurance carriers cover. In some cases, a screening must be completed before placing an order to check if you have recently been exposed to the virus.
Testing kits have been difficult to find in pharmacies and other stores, and some retailers are charging higher prices. The attorney general’s office on Tuesday condemned the pricing and asked people to report it.
What should I do if I test positive?
You should quarantine for 10 days and contact your medical provider or call the city 1-212-COVID-19. The New York City Test and Trace Corps provides assistance to people who test positive, such as a hotel room in which to quarantine, food or medical assistance such as medication and mental health care.
Infected people should try to determine when they may have been exposed and reach out to people they interacted with and had close contact with during that time. The state health department recommends reaching out to people you’ve been in close contact with — two days before your symptoms appear — or, if you’re asymptomatic, two days before taking your test.
They can hear from a contact tracer that will help inform people who may have been in touch with them and connect people to resources.