Here’s how to get a coronavirus test in New York City if you’re feeling sick

Shira Feder, Business Insider: March 20, 2020

With 7,845 people in New York infected with the coronavirus , the demand for testing continues to increase. The state’s made a recent push to make testing more available to New Yorkers, which Governor Andrew Cuomo has said accounts for the rapid climb in coronavirus cases.

To handle some of these coronavirus cases, New York City’s first drive-through mobile testing facility opened in a Staten Island parking lot. It’s the first state-run coronavirus testing facility in New York City and the third in New York State. It will be open by appointment from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The coronavirus test is essentially a nasal swab that must go all the way up the patient’s nose.

To make an appointment at the drive-through testing center, you need to call the New York State Health Department at 888-364-3065. The city has also said it has plans to open walk-in testing sites, ABC 7 reports .


Challenges in getting tested

Others, including New York Times reporter Tim Herrera, have outlined the difficulties they’ve faced getting coronavirus tests in recent days.

“Almost a dozen calls with five health care providers over five hours. Two hours of hold music. Two hours in a hospital. Four days of anxiously checking an online portal for results. And lots of confusion,” Herrera wrote .

“That’s the winding path through bureaucracy that took me from placing my first phone call last Wednesday to getting my positive coronavirus test results on Monday night. Five days in limbo.”

The US is facing a shortage of testing materials that led to it falling behind other developed nations in the rate of tests performed per capita . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires that a patient meet a series of strict criteria before being tested for the virus, reports Business Insider’s Taylor Nicole Rogers .

“When something is available but limited, and there’s limited access but it exists, people with more fame and more money are more likely to get it,” Diana Zuckerman, the president of the National Center for Health Research in Washington, DC, previously told Insider .

That being said, New York has made impressive strides in testing capacity in recent days.

On Friday morning, Cuomo said that 10,000 new coronavirus tests were processed overnight bringing the state’s total to 32,427 tests, reports Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz .

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