As New York City shows that it is “Strong Enough” to recover from the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the donation of a COVID-19 testing and vaccination bus from the CherCares Pandemic Resource and Response Fund (CPRRF) to the NYC Health + Hospitals Test & Trace Corps. The gift in partnership with Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness will bring mobile testing and vaccinations to young people and families in neighborhoods across New York City where the need is greatest.
“If anyone is ‘strong enough’, it’s the people of this city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The more New Yorkers who get vaccinated and protect one another, the closer we will be to moving on from this pandemic and getting back to the people and the activities that we love. I’m grateful to CherCares and Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness for their support.”
Launching today in Harlem, the mobile Family Testing and Vaccination Center is accompanied by an additional $141,000 donation from CPRRF to support Test & Trace Corps operations. The bus is the largest in the Test & Trace Corps mobile fleet of more than 70 units, and the first to offer both testing and vaccinations for New Yorkers.
“I feel so fortunate to be able to do my part to ensure access for the children and families in New York City – my second home – by going directly into the community in hopes it will encourage more New Yorkers to come on board and keep themselves and their neighbors safe. Dr. Redlener and I are grateful to partner with the city and Mayor de Blasio to provide this service at no cost to anyone and reach as many people as possible,” said Cher.
The mobile Family Testing and Vaccination Center offers both standard PCR COVID-19 tests and rapid antigen COVID-19 testing with results returned within 15 minutes, and administers the approved COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. All families with children ages 4 and older are encouraged to visit the bus for testing and all New Yorkers 12 and older can receive their COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. Services are provided at no cost, and appointments are not required.
The mobile Family Testing and Vaccination Center will be available at the following locations and times over the next month:
Thursday, June 17- Sunday, June 20
Children’s Aid Dunlevy Milbank Community Center
24 W. 117th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10026
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25
Child Center of NY Head Start/EarlyLearn
34-10 108th Street
Corona, Queens, NY 11368
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, June 28 – Saturday, July 3
Children’s Aid Bronx Health Center
910 E. 172nd Street
Bronx, NY 10460
8 a.m. -6 p.m.
“We can never turn back time to before the pandemic, but I truly believe that we are bringing NYC back, with help from Cher – she’s got us.,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “We thank her for the generous donation that will allow even more New Yorkers to get the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine and. It’s partners like Cher who permit the beat to go – they helped us to reduce infection rates and increased vaccination rates.”
“New York City has built the strongest COVID-19 testing and vaccination infrastructure in the country, including a range of mobile options, and today those resources for New Yorkers most in need are growing even stronger thanks to the generosity of Cher and partners,” said Dr. Ted Long, Executive Director of the NYC Test &Trace Corps and Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “While rates of COVID-19 infection decrease, we remain committed to breaking down all barriers to testing and vaccination. The Family Testing and Vaccination Center advances that mission to bring testing and vaccine for all and honors the contributions of our frontline Health Care Heroes.”
“From the beginning, Cher wanted to do something significant to help people who were vulnerable to COVID-19, especially those who lived in marginalized communities where access to PPE and basic medical care was challenging,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, Co-founder of CPRRF and the Children’s Health Fund, and Founding Director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness. “Her one-million dollar personal donation has already helped thousands of highly vulnerable people throughout this crisis across the country.”
“We’re proud to partner with NYC Health and Hospitals Test & Trace Corps, Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness and CherCares in this incredible initiative,” said Phoebe Boyer, President and CEO of Children’s Aid. “The bus will allow us to offer testing and vaccination to the youth and families we serve in the communities where we serve them. We thank the City for their commitment to this essential step in our collective recovery from COVID-19.”
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, 98% of all COVID-19 cases and 97% 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.