Governor says rapid Covid testing coming soon to every county
Press Release, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Covid-19 rapid result testing will be made available to every county in New York State.
The New York State Department of Health will deploy an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits free of charge to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers to help increase access in all corners of New York State to free Covid-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes and without having to send a specimen to a lab.
DOH will prioritize the distribution of testing kits to counties and local health care providers in areas seeing recent uptick in cases. The rapid tests can be used to control new outbreaks, conduct surveillance testing, and will also be made available on a as needed basis to help schools in “yellow zones” test students and staff as part of new requirements to monitor Covid-19 spread as part of the Governor’s Cluster Action Initiative.
“These rapid test kits will allow health care institutions throughout the state to quickly and accurately determine COVID-19’s spread, control outbreaks and keep families and communities safe,” Cuomo said. “Further, the state is taking precautionary steps to ensure localities are providing rapid testing for schools that are nearby communities that have seen recent upticks in cases and are offering in-person instruction. We will provide rapid test kits, as needed, free of charge to all localities to help them meet this new requirement, giving parents, teachers, and students confidence in the safety of their educational experiences.”
On Tuesday, as part of the state’s Cluster Action Initiative, the Governor announced that schools open to in-person instruction in “Yellow Zones” would be required to test a portion of their in-person students, staff, and teachers at least once a week.
The NYS Dept. of Health today is issuing guidance requiring 20% of students, teachers, and staff who are in-person in schools located within “Yellow Zones” to be tested once a week starting next Friday, October 16. All results must be reported promptly to DOH and will be made available on the Covid Report Card dashboard.
As needed, the state will provide rapid test kits free of charge to local governments, health departments, schools, or whichever local health providers are designated by the local government, to help localities and schools meet this requirement which is a key part of ensuring Covid-19 does not spread into schools within nearly geographic proximity to where the state is monitoring cluster outbreaks.
DOH will issue a letter today to all local health departments, as well as hospitals, pharmacies, and other provider organizations, providing details for how to access and receive these rapid testing kits.