Coronavirus testing in New York City has been plagued since the early days of the pandemic.
First, most New Yorkers couldn’t take the test due to limited supply. As the capacity increases, many people There was a long delay While the virus was spreading all over the country, the National Institute was unable to meet the increasing demand, so we decided to get results.
However, as schools in the city are scheduled to reopen this month, reliable and quick testing is key to keeping students, parents and teachers safe.
Currently, the city offers several options that allow families to get results within 48 hours.
The place you take the test makes a big difference. Health officials are advised to visit one of the city’s priority exam sites or one of the new rapid exam clinics.
Public schools will also be tested randomly 10-20% of students and teachers Every month, it starts in October.
Here’s what you need to know to get test results quickly:
How do I get a quick virus test in New York City?
Mayor Bill de Blasio to his parents 22 priority exam sites It is operated by the city’s health and hospital system. You can enter without reservation.
“It’s fast, free, convenient, and you get immediate results,” De Blasio said at a press conference this week, promising results in 48 hours.
The city also offers a popular new option called Rapid test, The result is 24 hours. Reservations must be made online in advance and reservations tend to be faster.
There are four of these rapid inspection clinics in Manhattan. Located in Chelsea, Central Harlem, Upper West Side and Washington Heights. Two clinics in Brooklyn — Crown Heights and Fort Greene; two in Queens — Corona and Jamaica; one in the Bronx, Morrisania.
The clinic can only provide a total of about 500 tests per day.
“They are filling up rapidly,” Dr. Dave A. Chokushi, the city’s new director of health, said in an interview. “We are still in the process of building capacity.”
There are other places where you can get tested: clinics, CityMD clinics, home test kits, and even Concierge service for wealthy people.. However, many healthcare providers rely on the same few private labs, creating a painful delay.
How long does it take to get results?
Many New Yorkers say they received the test results from the city’s priority laboratories and public hospitals in two days.
Lauren Goldenberg, a librarian living in Brooklyn, was examined at Kings County Hospital on August 29th. Negative results after about 40 hours..
“Efficient, quick and clean,” she said of her experience.
Others have seen longer turnaround times. CityMD, a network of walk-in clinics in the city, Deliver results in 3-4 days.. Quest Diagnostics, a national laboratory, Part of the worst delay In New York, a city spokesperson said it was no longer using the company.
According to city officials, more than 75% of people tested on city health and hospital sites get test results in three days.
City officials announced on Wednesday That they opened a new lab In Manhattan, we process tests faster rather than relying on large lab companies.
According to city officials, the institute can eventually test over 40,000 samples per day, which takes about 24-48 hours.
However, when gyms, malls, schools and indoor dining are reopened in September, the demand for testing will increase, which can lead to problems with the city’s test infrastructure.
How often do I need to take the test?
If you have symptoms, come into contact with someone infected with the virus, or travel to a place with a high infection rate, you should be tested.
City officials also encourage New Yorkers to take tests more regularly, about once a month.
“I follow myself and encourage others to do so, but I try to get tested at least once a month,” Dr. Jayvalma, senior public health adviser to the mayor, said at a press conference. last month.
In an interview, Dr. Varma said city officials are still discussing what formal guidance to give New Yorkers about how often they take the test.
One of the potential challenges is capacity testing. The city’s hospital system currently carries out approximately 5,000 tests per day and is capable of providing 10,000 tests per day.
However, there are more than one million public school children, and at least half are expected to return to the classroom. If the family influx is going to be tested at the same time, there may not be enough tests to meet the demand.
Does the test hurt? Is it safe to visit the test site?
The city test site uses two types of nasal swabs. A traditional test, called a nasopharyngeal swab, affectionately called a “brain thrust,” and a new approach, called a shallower nostril sample.
Dr. Andrew Warrack, Chief of Healthcare Institutions in the City, which oversees the tests, said:
City officials said parents should not be worried about being exposed to the virus while waiting in line for testing. Everyone needs to use a face cover and visitors need to stand 6 feet away.
“If you’re worried enough to need testing, the benefits outweigh the risks,” said Dr. Varma. “It’s safe because of the precautions we take.”
If you want to use a city test site, you need to sign up for it. MyChart system Get results online. Otherwise, it may take some time to get the results over the phone.
Should I also have an antibody test?
An antibody test can tell you if you were infected with a virus. But, Test accuracy concerns..
Many of the test sites in the city Providing antibody testing.. According to city officials, even if the antibody test is positive, you need to wear a mask and stay socially distant.
“It’s a test of exposure, not a test of immunity,” Dr. Choxie said. “Whatever the outcome, you shouldn’t change your personal behavior. You need to take precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Antibody testing is important because it helps health authorities understand the number of people exposed to the virus and the neighborhood.
Health officials have also been vaccinated against the flu and urged families to vaccinate their children regularly to prevent other illnesses.
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