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COVID-19: Protocols

COVID-19: Testing

T + T

Summary

Diagnostic testing may be free to New Yorkers if they access diagnostic testing through the NYS Department of Health or at a New York City testing site or as ordered by a health care provider.

Antibody testing is being offered to NYC residents for free at 11 NYC Health + Hospital locations. NYS is randomly conducting antibody testing of NYS residents.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Note

Individuals should speak with their doctor or urgent care provider if they have questions about obtaining a diagnostic or antibody test.

New Yorkers can also call the NYC hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC or the NYS hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

INTRODUCTION

Diagnostic testing can determine if an individual is positive for COVID-19 through a nasal swab, oral swab, or saliva sample.

NEW YORK STATE TESTING

New York State Department of Health’s guidance for who should get tested includes individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • An individual who is symptomatic or has a history of COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, has a compromised immune system, or has an underlying health condition;
Note

For symptoms of coronavirus, visit the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

  • An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19;
  • An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine;
  • An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working;
    • For a listing of qualifying essential workers, click here.
  • An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing;
  • An individual is included under other criteria set by the NYS Department (DOH) of Health based on an individual’s geographic place of residence, occupation, or other factors that the DOH may deem relevant for COVID-19 testing purposes; or
  • Any individual who would return to workplace in Phase 1.
    • For information on NYS Reopening Phases, see above, COVID-19:NYS On Pause, NYS Reopening Plan.

These individuals can call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or use the online screening tool to assess symptoms and pre-register for testing at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov.

For more information, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.

Note

On May 10th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.30 mandating all nursing homes and all adult care facilities, including adult homes, enriched housing programs, and assisted living residences, to test or make arrangements for testing of all personnel for COVID-19 twice per week.

NEW YORK CITY TESTING

New York City is offering free testing in the five boroughs for individuals who:

  • Want to protect their families and themselves;
  • Are a first responder or healthcare worker;
  • Have been in close contact with someone who tests positive;
  • Work in a nursing home, shelter or adult care facility; or
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell
Note

NYC’s Department of Health has a fact sheet on what New Yorkers need to know related to COVID-19, available at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coronavirus-factsheet.pdf.

There are over 100 testing sites across the city. To learn more and to find a testing site, click here.

Refer To

To locate your local department of health, visit: https://www.nysacho.org/directory

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Note

Individuals should speak with their doctor or urgent care provider if they have questions about obtaining a diagnostic or antibody test.

New Yorkers can also call the NYC hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC or the NYS hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

INTRODUCTION

COVID-19 antibody testing is a blood test to find antibodies, that is, proteins in the blood that fight infections. The test is taken through the finger. However, a positive test for antibodies is not necessarily an indication of immunity to COVID-19.

NEW YORK STATE TESTING

New York State is conducting an antibody testing survey in phases to develop a baseline infection rate. For more information, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.

NYS residents cannot request to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies, unless they are a NYC resident, see immediately below.

NEW YORK CITY TESTING

Free antibody testing is available at 11 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities. For the locations of the facilities, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/hospitals. For more information on NYC antibody testing, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/antibody-testing.page.

Refer To

To locate your local department of health, visit: https://www.nysacho.org/directory.

Cost-Sharing Expenses

As directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York health insurers (including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and Qualified Health Plans) have been directed to waive cost-sharing expenses related to coronavirus testing, emergency room visits, urgent care, telehealth, and office visits. In addition, Medicare does not charge any cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing or associated provider visits.

Go to https://www.dfs.ny.gov/reports_and_publications/press_releases/pr202003161 for more information.

Self-Assessment

To self-assess symptoms of COVID-19, use the NYS Department of Health Online Assessment for COVID-19 at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov. Individuals can also pre-register for NYS COVID-19 diagnostic testing on this site.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

INTRODUCTION

Contact tracing is the process of contacting all people who have had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Contact Tracers have been hired and trained to gather information on the spread of the infection.

NEW YORK STATE CONTACT TRACING

In NYS, when an individual tests positive for COVID-19, a COVID Contact Tracer will connect him/her with the support and resources s/he may need through quarantine, such as help getting groceries or household supplies, child care, medical care or supplies. The Tracer will work with the individual to identify and reach out via phone and text to anyone s/he may have been in contact with while infectious in order to trace and contain the spread of the virus.

When a person is contacted by the NYS Contact Tracing Program, the caller ID will say “NYS Contact Tracing” (518-387-9993). People who have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be asked to stay home and limit their contact with others. Testing, medical and quarantine support will also be arranged.

Information collected under NYS Contact Tracing Program will be treated as private medical records. The program will operate through the next flu season. It will be implemented in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut.

For more information on NYS Contact Tracing Program, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-contact-tracing.

NEW YORK CITY CONTACT TRACING

NYC’s contact tracing program is called the Test & Trace Corps and it is being led by NYC Health + Hospitals.

In NYC, if an individual tests positive, s/he will receive a call from a Contact Tracer. NYC’s Test & Trace Corps calls show up on caller ID’s as “NYC Test + Trace” from a 212 number. The Contact Tracer will determine if the individual who tested positive needs additional medical care, offer services so that the individual can safely separate at home or in a hotel, and create a list of everyone s/he had contact with (less than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) since shortly before the onset of symptoms, including family, friends and coworkers.

Contact Tracers will then contact people who have been exposed to COVID-19 from someone who tested positive and ask them to stay away from other people as well.

Contact Tracers will call individuals who tested positive and who were exposed to COVID-19 every day for approximately 10 days – sometimes less or sometimes more – to monitor symptoms If the Contact Tracer cannot reach an individual, they may check in on the individual by visiting in person.

All personal information shared with the Test & Trace Corps will be kept confidential as required by law.

For more information on NYC Contact Tracing, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/test-trace-corps.page or https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/test-and-trace.