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What types of tests can I get?: There are two types of tests available for COVID-19: testing for current infections usually done with a nasal swab, and testing for antibodies, usually done with a blood test. Antibodies indicate that you were previously infected with COVID-19. Most testing locations will do both tests in one visit.
How long does it take to get results?: Due to national shortages of supplies and tests, some test results at some locations are severely delayed by as much as two weeks. Previously, results were often available within 2-3 days. A two-week delay in testing does not help you make timely decisions about protecting yourself and others. We recommend calling ahead to ask how long it will take to get results and choosing a site with a shorter turnaround time.
Where can I get tested?
- Free walk-in options for all New Yorkers:
- Community testing sites operated by NYC Health + Hospitals offer free testing to all New Yorkers on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary.
- CityMD offers two types of testing for free testing at any location on a walk-in basis, seven days per week. Note: Current turnaround times for test results at CityMD are quite delayed, often up to two weeks as of August 2020.
- In addition to these two options, some but not all of the sites searchable through NYS Department of Health are offering free walk-in testing to all New Yorkers.
- Testing Search: The NYS Department of Health offers an expansive search tool to find a COVID-19 testing center near you. Alternately, you may call 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment for a coronavirus test. Before you choose a site, ask the following questions:
- Is the test free, covered by insurance, or fee-based?
- Do I need a screening or prescription before I get tested, or can I walk in?
- Do I need to show symptoms of COVID-19, be an essential worker, or meet any other standard to be eligible for testing?
- NYC Test and Trace Hotline: Call 1-212-COVID19 or 1-212-268-4319, a centralized place for information about COVID testing and the City’s contact tracing program.
- For children under 18: Many sites will not offer testing for children under 18 without a doctor’s prescription. If you would like to have your child tested, ask your testing site ahead of time or contact your child’s pediatrician for advice first.
- Contact your doctor: With the increasing availability of COVID-19 testing, your primary care provider may offer testing on-site or be able to refer you somewhere, potentially with a quick turnaround time.
For New Yorkers with symptoms or questions about COVID-19, connect to a medical provider free of charge, 9am to 9pm: call 1-844-NYC-4NYC