Months after its first few cases were reported, COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on all around the world, wreaking havoc on stability and economy. But countries are fighting back with travel restrictions, quarantine measures, and perhaps primarily, upping the testing capacities.

If you’re looking for information on testing requirements, centers along with the whole procedure, we’ve listed the important points in this article.

Who should get a COVID-19 test?

All New Yorkers

Since June, health officials have urged all New Yorkers to get tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms, as schools and business have slowly reopened. Dr. Jay Varma, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s senior adviser for public health, has also came out to recommend that New Yorkers get tested at least once a month.

Travelers looking to be exempted from 14-day quarantine

For traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting the contiguous states, in order to be be exempt of the mandatory 14-day quarantine, they have to follow the new guidelines:

  • For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:
    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:
    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
    • However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

Where to get tested in New York for fast results?

COVID Express Testing Sites

The government has set up COVID Express Quickie Lab sites throughout the city, promising to deliver test results within 24 hours or less of the visit. All tests performed at these sites are PCR-based laboratory diagnostic tests, which are the most accurate type of test available. The visits are by appointment only.

Priority testing sites 

These testing sites are prioritized for public school students, family, staffs, and other Department of Education-affiliated employees. Results can be expected within 48 hours. No appointment is needed.

CityMD sites

All CityMD locations offer walk-in COVID-19 testing for three types of tests:

Rapid Test: You can expect to receive the results within approximately 15 minutes, sent to your email. If you do not receive an email in your inbox, please be sure to check your spam or junk folder.
PCR Test: The average time for PCR (Nasal Swab) lab results is normally 3 to 4 days but may be longer depending on lab partner and other factors. The results can be viewed via CityMD Patient Portal Account. Once you are in your CityMD Patient Portal Account, please check your “lab reports” or “visit summary” for your results. You will receive a text message or email with a link to our portal.
Serum Antibody IgG (Blood Test): The test requires a minimum of 7 days to produce results. The results can be viewed via your CityMD Patient Portal account. Once you are in your CityMD Patient Portal Account, please check your “lab reports” or “visit summary” for your results. You will receive a text message or email with a link to our portal.

There’s no need to make appointment. However, due to overwhelming demands, you may need to wait in line and be mindful of the closing hours.

All the testing sites near you

For a comprehensive list of testing site closest to you, the official website has set up a site finder that will locate the nearest places to get tested.

As the site finder collates a variety of testing sites, some of the places on the list may require appointment and test results timeline may vary.

How much is the cost for COVID-19 test in NY?

COVID tests are free to all New Yorkers.

  • If the test site is run by New York State, there is never any charge for the test.
  • If the test site is operated by local governments, private companies including pharmacies and medical practices or not-for-profit organizations. It’s advised to check with the testing site and insurer in advance to confirm there will be no fees associated with the test.

Per the CARES Act, CityMD is also not collecting copayments for COVID-19 related visits.

Any questions regarding eligibility or access for testing should be directed to the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065