The city will ramp up novel coronavirus antibody testing next week with the goal of reaching a quarter of a million New Yorkers, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.
The expanded effort will focus on testing first responders and healthcare workers with the goal of reaching 140,000 New Yorker front line workers. Testing will be done at hospitals, firehouses, police precincts, correctional facilities.
On top of expanded testing for front line health workers, antibody testing will be rolled initially at five branches of the city’s public hospital system for lay New Yorkers and be tested for free. Appointments can be made by calling a dedicated hotline beginning this Friday, according to the mayor’s office.
The first testing locations will be in Morrisania, East New York, Upper Manhattan, Concord, and Long Island City. After taking an antibody test, New Yorkers can expect results within 24 to 48 hours.
The city hopes that up to 5,000 people will be tested a day and that 70,000 people will receive an antibody test within the first two weeks of the expanded testing effort.
The effort, done with the help of workers from the U.S. Department of Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and BioReference, will not only allow for more New Yorkers to know their novel coronavirus status but will also help the city map out the virus’s spread across the city.