COVID-19 Testing
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Overview

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to get tested and isolate until you know your results.

If you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, get tested and stay home and away from others for 14 days.

If you go to a test site run by New York State, you will not be charged for your test.

If you go to a test site operated by local governments, private companies including pharmacies and medical practices or not-for-profit organizations, check with the testing site and your insurer to make sure there isn’t a fee for the test. 

If you are uninsured, you are advised to ask the testing site if you will be responsible for any fees associated with your test. Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES), a testing site can receive reimbursement for fees associated with testing uninsured individuals.

 

Can I Be Tested?

New York State has aggressively expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity. Beginning July 1sttesting is available to all New Yorkers statewide.

Interested in being tested for COVID-19? Use this screening tool to share your symptoms and pre-register for testing.

Start Assessment

Get information on coronavirus testing near you. Simply enter your address and find locations that provide coronavirus testing.

Find a Test Site Near You

If You Test Positive

If you test positive for COVID-19, please notify anyone that you’ve had close contact with that they may have been exposed. This helps limit the spread of the disease. Fill out the NYS Contact Tracing Tool to help you identify contacts.

Who Should I Notify?

The FIRST STEP is to figure out the time period during which you could have exposed others so you can notify anyone with whom you had close contact during that time.

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS – you were able to spread COVID-19 starting TWO DAYS BEFORE your first symptoms started. Notify the people you had close contact with during this time.

IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD SYMPTOMS – you were able to spread the disease starting TWO DAYS before your COVID-19 test was taken. Notify the people you had close contact with during this time.

Close contact is defined as any of the following interactions:

  • Having direct physical contact with someone. (e.g. hug, kiss, handshake)
  • Being within 6 feet of someone for 10 minutes total in a day.
  • Having contact with your respiratory secretions. (e.g. coughed/sneezed on, contact with dirty tissue, sharing a drinking glass, food, towels, or other personal items)
  • Living with or spent the night with someone.

What do I tell my close contacts?

NYS and CDC recommends that close contacts quarantine in their home, away from others, for 10 days, beginning the last day they were exposed to you.

If they have been on quarantine due to contact with someone known to have COVID-19, a negative test does NOT release them from quarantine. It is essential to wait 10 days full days to make sure that no infection appears, even without symptoms, before being released from quarantine. Quarantine should last 10 days from the last exposure to a person with known COVID-19. In addition, they should continue to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 14 days after that last exposure. 

This should be done even if your contact receives a negative test during their quarantine period because they could develop symptoms 2 to 14 days after being exposed.

Let your contact know that they may receive a call from Public Health to ask questions and offer additional information. Please ask your contact to answer the phone call from “NYS Contact Tracing” (518-387-9993). It is confidential and private.

If your contact has additional questions, they can contact their health care provider, the local health department where they live or call the NYSDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Drive-Through Testing

Drive-through sampling sites are a critical part of the Governor’s nation-leading program to test for COVID-19. These facilities reduce density and the potential for spread by keeping people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people.

The drive-through sites are prioritizing sampling for symptomatic individuals that are part of the highest risk population, those who have been in close contact with a positive case, and, as necessary, health care workers, nursing home employees and first responders on the front lines.

Testing is by appointment only. Residents who believe they have been in close contact with a case and have symptoms, and would like to be tested can be assessed by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065. 

Individual test results are sent to the individual by phone, texted, or they can access the online patient portal at http://www.Bioreference.com.

Testing Guidance

Antigen Testing

Antigen tests are an important part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response strategy as these tests are relatively inexpensive and can be used at the point-of-care.  The New York State Department of Health provides recommendations to support the effective use of antigen tests for different testing situations to ensure the most appropriate interpretation of antigen test results, which is important for accurate clinical and public health management.

Antibody Testing

New York State is conducting an antibody testing survey to develop a baseline infection rate. The preliminary results of phase two show 14.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies. The preliminary results of phase one of the state's antibody testing survey released on April 23rd showed 13.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies.

Contact Tracing

Contact Tracers work with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to identify people they have had contact with and let them know they may have been exposed to the disease. 

Find additional information on the New York State Contact Tracing Program.

Molecular Testing

Rapid molecular tests such as the Abbott ID NOW are an important part of public health emergency response strategy as they are relatively inexpensive and can be used at the point-of-care. The New York State Department of Health provides recommendations to support the effective use of the Abbott ID NOW for different testing situations to ensure the most appropriate interpretation of these test results, which is important for accurate clinical and public health management.