The NYC Test & Trace Corps today announced a partnership with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York to provide books and literacy resources for families safely separating through the Take Care program. The initiative will support early childhood development for families who need to isolate in free hotel rooms or at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The choice to isolate and protect your community from COVID-19 takes courage, especially during the holiday season, and we want to do everything possible to support those families who make this important decision,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “Our partnership with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York will ensure that when families with young children need to isolate in a hotel or at home, they will have access to books and resources to promote health and well-being at critical early ages while participating in our Take Care program.”
The partnership currently provides books to families with children separating in a free hotel room, where guests of the Take Care program also receive free meals, Wi-Fi, on-site clinical support, and other resources including connections to social services. More than 200 books for children from birth through age five have been distributed since the Thanksgiving holiday.
All families separating in a hotel room or at home may also access free online resources from Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, including virtual read alouds for the whole family and educational workshops for parents and caregivers on subjects such as best reading practices, working with children with developmental delays, and managing screen time. Resources are available in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole, with more languages under development. Visit www.reachoutandreadnyc.org/parents-families to access the resources.
“Household transmission is a significant factor in the spread of COVID-19 among New Yorkers, and our goal is to provide families with all the resources they need to safely separate, including options for their young children,” said Take Care Program Director Dr. Amanda Johnson. “No parent or caregiver who needs to break the chains of transmission should hesitate to seek our support, and thanks to our new partnership with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, we now have more to offer the youngest New Yorkers whose families participate in our program.”
“Reach Out and Read of Greater New York is proud to be partnering with the Test & Trace Corps on this initiative in support of the extraordinary sacrifices our families, caregivers and healthcare heroes are making every day. Our Program Director, Kristen Rocha Aldrich, and team will continue to work tirelessly to ensure all NYC children have access to early literacy guidance and developmentally appropriate books. We will not allow this pandemic to deny children the joy and opportunity held within the right book at the right time.” said Reach Out and Read of Greater New York Executive Director Emily Marchese.
“Early childhood literacy promotion programs are evidence-based interventions that promote healthy child-parent bonding and contribute to a child’s future school success,” said Dr. Katherine Piwnica-Worms, Senior Director of Pediatric Health Care Delivery for NYC Health + Hospitals. “Traditionally an essential part of high-quality pediatric primary care, I am excited to see Reach Out and Read of Greater New York partner with the NYC Test & Trace Corps to support parents and caregivers with young children who are isolating or quarantining in hotels or at home.”
New Yorkers who wish to provide a new children’s book for a family safely separating in a hotel room may contact Reach Out and Read of Greater New York at email@example.com to make arrangements.
Since the start of the Take Care program , more than 5,000 guests have safely separated in a free hotel room, including 400 families, and almost 100,000 referrals to Resource Navigators have been completed to connect program participants with free resources. The program seeks to make isolation possible for families with young children by providing connections to resources including free diapers, wipes, and baby food to those who cannot afford these supplies.
The Take Care Program of the NYC Test & Trace Corps ensures that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts will have the resources needed to safely separate in a hotel, free of charge, or at home to help prevent the spread of the virus. New Yorkers who have symptoms of COVID-19 or think they have been exposed to someone with the virus are urged to call the NYC Test & Trace Corps hotline at 212-COVID19 for free assistance, or visit nyc.gov/takecare to learn more.
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 96% 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.