In the face of rising COVID rates, Adams, city agencies ramp up preparedness measures

At-home testing is key

May 16, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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In the face of rising COVID-19 rates, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday, along with the NYC Test & Trace Corps, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, announced the distribution of an additional 16.5 million at-home COVID-19 tests and 1 million high-quality masks to public schools, community organizations, libraries, cultural institutions, houses of worship and more. 

New York City is preparing to potentially enter a high COVID-19 alert level in the coming days and strongly recommends that all New Yorkers mask up in public indoor settings to protect themselves and others. On May 11, for example, there were 3,074 COVID cases in the city. By contrast, on May 10, 2021, there were only 749. 

The distribution effort joins other measures to blunt the worst impacts of the current wave. The distribution of 35,000 COVID-19 courses of treatment to date has prevented nearly 2,000 hospitalizations in the city so far.

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The city has also distributed 20 million at-home tests to schools and participating community organizations to date — meaning this additional surge of tests will bring the total distributed at-home tests to over 36 million as the city prepares to potentially hit a high-alert level in the coming days — ensuring free at-home testing is widely accessible to New Yorkers across the five boroughs. At home tests became available toward the end of 2020.

“It’s never been easier for New Yorkers to get a free at-home test, a high-quality mask, or access COVID-19 treatments in New York City,” said  Adams. “At-home tests and masks provide reliable and convenient ways for New Yorkers to confidently and safely protect themselves and others and allow them to enjoy our city.” 

“If you test positive for COVID-19, get treatment right away — it might help you stay out of the hospital,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz. “You can call 212-COVID19 to talk to one of our medical providers and get treatment delivered right to your door.”

Through community partnerships alone, Test & Trace has distributed 2.3 million tests and currently maintains a stockpile of tens of millions of tests that can be rapidly distributed if needed.

At-home test distribution through Test & Trace’s network of 192 prominent cultural sites and library branches brings critical self-testing resources to areas of need at familiar locations in all five boroughs. Test & Trace makes weekly deliveries of at-home tests to participating cultural sites and libraries, where they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, more than 850 community and faith-based organizations — including 243 houses of worship — have signed up to regularly distribute at-home tests. 

DOHMH also put out a health advisory that urges all residents to use high-quality masks — such as KN95 and KF94 masks and N95 respirators — when indoors and in a public setting, including at grocery stores, building lobbies, offices, stores, and other common or shared spaces where individuals may interact, such as restrooms, hallways, elevators and meeting rooms.

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