NYC Test & Trace Corps today announced that its Take Care program has helped more than 10,000 guests safely separate in free hotel rooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The program reaches the milestone as access to resources for isolation and quarantine remains imperative to break the chains of transmission during the winter months among families and roommates living closely together in the same household.
“Over the past nine months, we have built a strong testing and contact tracing program, but these tools can only succeed if we can support New Yorkers in being able to isolate and quarantine,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “If you test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed, we will be with you every step of the way, offering you our free hotel program which has now helped more than 10,000 New Yorkers keep their families and our city safe.”
Launched in June 2020 as an integral part of the NYC Test & Trace Corps, the Take Care program is the nation’s largest isolation and quarantine program. Take Care provides support to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts, connecting them with the resources needed to safely separate in a hotel, free of charge, or at home to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The Take Care program has served 11,551 guests in free hotel rooms as of the week ending February 20. Metrics for the period also show that the contact tracing program has cumulatively reached 86% of all cases who test positive including through the second wave of COVID, the highest performance of jurisdictions in the country that report the figure. All cases and contacts in New York City who are reached are offered the opportunity to stay in a free hotel room through the Take Care program. For those separating at home, Resource Navigators have completed more than 192,000 referrals to services such as food and medicine delivery, mental health support, and Paid Sick Leave, and more.
“Our work to break the chains of transmission requires that we put quarantine and isolation resources within easy reach of all New Yorkers, especially those who live together in households where safe separation is not possible,” said Take Care Program Director Dr. Amanda Johnson. “This new milestone of more than 10,000 guests served in free hotel rooms is a testament to all those who made the brave decision to protect their loved ones and separate. We encourage anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or thinks they have been exposed to contact our program for support.”
Cases and contacts who choose to stay in a free and private hotel room have access to a range of services including onsite clinical monitoring and support provided by skilled doctors and nurses, three meals per day including Kosher and Halal options, onsite free Wi-Fi and unlimited local phone calls to stay connected, medication delivery, telepsychiatry resources, and more. Free round-trip transportation is also provided to and from the hotel and any necessary medical appointments.
Since its launch, the Take Care program has continued to evolve and expand its offerings to serve patients with resources tailored to their needs. Innovations include free Take Care packages with supplies – such as masks and digital thermometers – delivered to cases and contacts safely separating at home, connections to Paid Sick Leave resources, free books and literacy resources for families staying in a hotel room through a partnership with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, and free dog-walking and pet care services through a partnership with Wag!.
Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is a close contact of a case is eligible to receive services through the Take Care program. New Yorkers who have COVID-19 symptoms or think they have been exposed are urged to call the Test & Trace Corps hotline at 212-COVID19 for support, 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 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.