June 2, 2020
Largest contact tracing effort of its kind anywhere in the country will help New York City re-open
NEW YORK—As the City launches its Test & Trace Corps initiative, Mayor de Blasio today announced universal COVID-19 testing for all New Yorkers. The Test & Trace Corps initiative, launched yesterday, will allow the City to safely separate and care for those who test positive for the virus, and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone they came into contact with and may have infected.
“Widespread testing holds the key to re-opening our city safely” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “After months of fighting, we are finally able to say that every New Yorker who needs a test will get one. Now with Test & Trace now up and running, we will be able to care for those who test positive and give them the support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
“A key step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is quickly identifying new cases and anyone they’ve been in close contact with across the diversity of our populations—and that’s exactly what Test &Trace Corps intends to do,” said Executive Director of Test & Trace Corps Dr. Ted Long. “We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia, and the private industry to design a program that will lower the risk for COVID-19 transmission in all of our hardest hit communities, and keep us on the path to prevent the spread of this virus.”
Test & Trace
Any New Yorker can now get tested at one of the over 150 testing sites citywide. New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/CovidTest or call 3-1-1 to find the sites nearest them.
As of June 1st, 1,700 contact tracers have been deployed from neighborhoods across the city, with particular emphasis on those hardest hit by the virus, to manage, track, and recall contacts of confirmed COVID-positive cases. Community Engagement Specialists will spend time "in the field" to speak with those contacts who might have been exposed to the virus. Case Investigators will support their efforts, and work remotely and focus their time on conducting calls to New Yorkers with a positive COVID test result.
Additionally, to ensure the Corps can meet the diverse needs of New Yorkers from all backgrounds, 40 distinct languages are spoken by tracers across the Corps.
To help all New Yorkers safely separate at home or at a hotel, and monitor their health status, the Test & Trace Corps tracers will check-in with daily calls and conduct in-person visits as necessary. These calls and texts will allow the monitors to gauge the progress of patients, ensure proper compliance with separation protocol, and connect patients to more supportive services as necessary.
As a part of Take Care, Resource Navigators from 15 community-based organizations across the city will help New Yorkers overcome logistical issues they may encounter while safely separating in their homes or hotel, such as access to basic services like food, medical refills, and laundry. As of June 1st, 200 Resource Navigators started working in communities across the city, with the intention to expand the program and hire additional navigators in the following weeks.
For any person who is unable to safely separate in their own home, the City will offer "Take Care Hotels" free of charge. Any doctor, nurse, or physician's assistants across the city can email CommCareCP@nychhc.org to refer a patient to a room. If you don't have a doctor, any symptomatic New Yorker can call 844-692-4692, the City's COVID-19 hotline and ask for the COVID Hotel Program. Currently, 1,200 rooms are available, with the goal to expand the number of rooms to 3,000 by late summer.