Simultaneous rapid influenza and COVID-19 testing is now available at no-cost at all NYC Test & Trace Corps mobile testing units, the NYC Test & Trace Corps announced today. The fleet-wide expansion of testing for the flu A, flu B and COVID-19 viruses is the largest deployment of no-cost co-testing facilities in the country.
“Our ability to rapidly test patients for both influenza and COVID-19 provides New Yorkers a one-stop shop to get the critical information they need for their health and to protect their families and communities,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “I am glad we can offer these tests at the outset of the flu season, so that patients can quickly know their diagnosis and seek the resources they need.”
Rapid antigen tests for flu A, flu B and COVID-19 became available September 9 at NYC Test & Trace Corps’s over 50 mobile units, including our Street Health and Wellness Outreach (SHOW) units and five dual-use units, where patients may also receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The tests are performed with a single swab and provide patients tests results in approximately 15 minutes. Each mobile testing unit can perform up to 300 swabs per day.
“DocGo’s Mobile Health concept has proven uniquely valuable to facilitate a range of medical services for underserved communities across the five boroughs,” said DocGo President Anthony Capone. “Since Flu and COVID symptoms overlap significantly, our ability to deliver rapid test results for both viruses provides peace of mind, and enables symptomatic individuals to quarantine for the correct amount of time, further ensuring public safety.”
Mobile testing units are deployed citywide on a week-to-week basis according to need. No appointment is required. For a current schedule of all mobile deployments, visit nyc.gov/covidtest or call the NYC Test & Trace Corps hotline at 212-COVID19 to find other convenient no-cost testing sites near you.
In August, NYC Test & Trace performed 250,000 tests across its program, scaled its SHOW units to a total of six mobile units and six roving teams to better assist unsheltered individuals across NYC, and converted several mobile testing units to dual-use testing and vaccination units to simultaneously bring both services to communities that need them.
Flu season usually starts in the late fall and lasts throughout the spring. Since influenza activity can be unpredictable and influenza viruses can be found year-round, it is important to get the vaccine as early as possible, though it is never too late to be vaccinated. A flu vaccine is necessary each year because the vaccine provides protection for only one season. This year’s flu vaccine contains four virus strains, three of which are new this year.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may also be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
The steps New Yorkers take to prevent COVID-19 are also applicable to flu. Face coverings, frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, distancing and staying home if ill can prevent the spread of flu. Additional ways to reduce the spread of germs like flu:
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical scare or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
The Test & Trace Corps is the City’s comprehensive effort to test, trace, and provide support for every case of COVID-19 and every person exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Test & Trace Corps allows the City to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. To help all New Yorkers safely separate at home and monitor their health status, the Take Care pillar of the Test & Trace Corps also offers free hotel rooms with wraparound services for New Yorkers who are unable to safely separate in their own homes. For those safely separating at home, contact tracers perform daily calls and conduct in-person visits as necessary. These calls allow tracers to gauge the progress of cases, ensure proper compliance with separation protocol, and connect people to more supportive services as necessary. Today, 97% of all COVID-19 cases and 95% of contacts reported following isolation and quarantine requirements
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.