New York City Mayor Eric Adams, joined by NYC Test & Trace Corps, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha launched a new COVID-19 mobile response initiative.
The mobile “Test and Treat” program, managed by the NYC Test & Trace Corps, will see participating mobile testing units include a clinician on board to provide instant access to COVID antiviral medication at no cost to eligible New Yorkers who test positive at these sites.
“New York City may have been at the epicenter of the pandemic at the start, but now we are leading the way in prevention and mitigation,” said Mayor Adams at the July 30 announcement. “By getting lifesaving medications into the hands of New Yorkers minutes after they test positive, we are once again leading the nation to quickly deliver accessible care to those who need it. This mobile Test to Treat program will save lives today and prepares us for future waves of this pandemic, keeping more New Yorkers safe and healthy.”
The program, which was launched June 30, will be the first of its kind in the nation with three starting units and will expand to include over 30 units in July.
“We have made a lot of progress in our fight against COVID-19 — deaths are down 90 percent from when President Biden took office, and vaccines and treatments are keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives,” said Dr. Ashish Jha. “But we know COVID isn’t over, and we must ensure lifesaving treatments like Paxlovid are reaching our hardest-hit communities. That’s exactly what New York City is doing with the launch of the nation’s first mobile Test-to-Treat clinic.”
Test & Trace will also continue to work closely with community partners to ensure deployment of the resources and eventually more test and treat mobile units will reach New Yorkers in neighborhoods and communities most heavily impacted by COVID.
“Health services, including for COVID-19, should be omnipresent and capable of meeting people where they are,” said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “We’ve learned during the pandemic how important it is to bring care to people, in an equitable way, prioritizing vulnerable groups and neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. In addition to home delivery of medications, we should be ready to hand off lifesaving medications to those who may not feel comfortable or confident using tele-visit services and deliver end-to-end services at a single point-of care. The new mobile Test to Treat model continues the city’s track record of innovation in our pandemic response.”
Other city health officials applauded the new program.
“New Yorkers trust the high-quality care they receive at NYC Health + Hospitals, and our new Test to Treat mobile vans are an extension of the four walls of our hospitals and clinics,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The Test to Treat program meets patients where they are, providing access to immediate COVID-19 treatment to those eligible. I want to thank Mayor Adams and Dr. Ashish Jha for their continued support and commitment to the care of all New Yorkers.”
New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a city-run testing site most convenient and accessible to them. Multiple COVID-19 treatments are available for people ages 12 and older and can be delivered to New Yorkers’ homes for free.
For more information on COVID-19 treatments, call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments. Calling 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers an immediate connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, and arrange to have it delivered to their home that same day.