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Self-swab testing to be rolled out at public hospitals in New York City

Lindsey Leinbach takes a swab to test for the coronavirus at a One Medical testing facility built to help with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Bronx borough of New York City, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

New self-swab testing will be implemented in public hospitals throughout the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. 

“This is something that we are going to start using now aggressively,” said de Blasio during his daily coronavirus press conference at City Hall. “It’ll improve the situation for everyone.”

De Blasio said that he hopes the self-swab testing will push the number of New Yorkers tested for the novel coronavirus from 15 to 20 people an hour. 

With a self-swab test, New Yorkers at community testing sites would be shown to private rooms and asked to spit in a cup and insert a small sterile q-tip slightly up the nose. Both samples would then be passed to a health care profession for testing. 

The new form of testing, de Blasio said, would mitigate the spread of the virus to health care workers and free some much needed medical personnel.

De Blasio called on private labs in the city to “step up” and implement self-swab testing to allow for as many New Yorkers as possible to be tested. 

Mayor de Blasio also announced that the city will hire 1,000 contact tracers throughout the month of May to help trace and isolate New Yorkers that have contracted the novel coronavirus. 

Any New Yorker with a background in health interested in applying can visit fphnyc.org

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