Coronavirus: How to get a free COVID-19 test in New York City

Photo credit: Michael Jung

Free appointment-only COVID-19 testing is available in New York City across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers, and 4 drive-thru test sites.

Testing—available by appointment only—will help keep people seeking testing out of emergency departments and ensure testing access for New Yorkers with moderate-to-severe symptoms. Those with mild illness, who are not above the age of 50 or don’t have underlying health conditions, should continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and consult their health care provider if their symptoms do not subside in 3-4 days.

The ten acute care “assessment and testing” centers at NYC Health + Hospitals now open on an appointment-only basis, are H+H/Bellevue, H+H/Elmhurst, H+H/Harlem, H+H/Metropolitan, H+H/Kings County, H+H/Lincoln, H+H/Woodhull, H+H/Queens, H+H/Coney Island, H+H/Jacobi.

The 4 drive-thru test sites are H+H/Jacobi, H+H/Coney Island, H+H/Jacobi and H+H/Kings County.

Patients with appointments will receive an expedited consultation with a primary care physician to capture their medical history before their sample is collected for testing. This will ensure that the appropriate medical treatment is provided should a test come back positive. Samples collected by NYC Health + Hospitals will be sent to BioReference Laboratory for testing.

H+H anticipates serving 150 people per day at each of its 10 centers and between 50-75 people per day at each of their 7 Gotham clinics by appointment only. The four drive thru sites will be able to accommodate 100 people per day by appointment only at their respective locations in addition to the State-operated mobile drive-thru facility on Staten Island.

New Yorkers who have high priority because of age, pre-existing conditions and symptoms, can call 1-844-692-4692 for more information. New Yorkers can continue to call 311 to be assessed for risk for COVID.

Mayor de Blasio announced a private-public partnership between the City’s public health system and BioReference that would increase testing capacity to 5,000 per day, with a one to two-day turnaround for results. All COVID-19 testing is being provided at no cost. These efforts expand on earlier activation of the public health system’s surge management plan to build capacity.

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