A view of the Secretariat Building, with Members States’ flags flying in the foreground, at United Nations headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

COVID-19 Testing in the New York area

Key Points

  • The medical service can now arrange testing for UN staff members and for staff of Permanent and Observer missions in NY. If you are currently unwell contact osh@un.org requesting review for testing and include:
    • Your first name, last name, date of birth and index number (if UN)
    • Your organization (i.e. UNICEF, UNS, Permanent Mission of ‘country’ etc.)
    • Your full address with zipcode
    • Your contact telephone number
  • Stay Home. You will be contacted and based on capacity, a mobile sampling service will come to your location. The testing service is NOT available at UN Headquarters complex.
  • Testing is not available for dependents just yet, and depends on capacity.
  • Otherwise, testing in NYC remains limited, primarily in hospitals, but see the detailed list below for options.
  • If you do get tested and have a result contact the medical service at osh@un.org so that we can record this.  
  • Coming soon – Staff members will be able to report any COVID-19 illness or testing for themselves or their dependents directly into their UN medical record using the Earthmed Portal.

UN testing for COVID has been developed on the basis of equipment and funds donated by a Member State and has been designed specifically to avoid any drain on the medical resources of our host city and state. Subject to capacity and availability of funding, the programme may be extended, and expanded to support testing for household members of New York staff. In accordance with host city and host state guidance, staff should remain at home when ill, except for medical emergencies - arrangements will be made to test staff at their locations.

The UN medical service does not test in its clinic in the Secretariat – only via its mobile service.

Testing can be done for coronavirus in fluid in the nose or mouth. It usually requires the patient to have symptoms, preferably when there has been fever­­­ and cough. It requires specialized equipment for taking swabs and running the test. The test requires a doctor’s order, and the samples can be taken at a primary care provider, an urgent care clinic or a hospital emergency department.

Different areas are likely to have different testing criteria depending on the phase of the response – this information below is not universal and is likely to change almost daily.

Key points to note are:

  • A NYC identified provider or your provider will determine if you need testing. Tests can only be ordered by a doctor and if medically necessary. It is unlikely someone without symptoms will be tested.
  • A test uses 1 or 2 nasopharyngeal (nasal) swabs, and no longer requires oropharyngeal (throat) swabs. It is not a blood test, and the test cannot be done on the spot, but must be collected at a clinic and sent to an accredited laboratory.
  • You cannot easily take the swab yourself – a doctor or nurse will do it.
  • The test will take from 1-3 days to be completed, depending on the lab used.
  • Tests are covered under regular US UN insurance programmes (Aetna, Empire), either as consultations or as part of hospital care, or as part of the State’s public health program. If in doubt about insurance coverage, ask at the time.
    • If your doctor is using a State public health lab, it is very unlikely you will be tested unless you are in a hospital.
    • If your doctor uses a private lab, then you may be able to be tested even if mild symptoms. However, testing priority is given to individuals with moderate/severe symptoms or individual older than 50 or who have underlying health conditions.
    • Those returning from ‘at risk countries’ will generally not be tested unless showing symptoms.
    • Diplomatic or other status will not form a consideration for testing.
    • For those without insurance, the NYC Mayor has confirmed that care in NYC will be provided independent of insurance or immigration status.
  • Remember however that the test is largely about reassurance - it will not be used for contact tracing in most areas, will not change what actions you take if you are unwell, and will not change the treatment that will be provided to you.

If you are tested

If the test is negative:  It will usually not be repeated.  There are false negatives with this test, however these generally relate to testing too early or testing someone without a cough. A negative test does not mean you can return to the workplace – that requires you to meet the clinical criteria of being well (see below).

If the test is positive: There will be no change usually to your treatment, but 14 days after your test result you may be considered ‘immune.’

Recovery (when are you considered ‘cured’)

Based on NYC Department of Health guidelines, we recommend:

  • At least 7 days since the start of your illness AND
  • At least 72 hours since your last fever AND
  • At least 24 hours since your last symptoms completely stopped.

The exact time for return to work is still being reviewed based on expert advice – contact DHMOSH to determine this.

DHMOSH request that everyone who has a confirmed positive test report this  to the UN medical service  at osh@un.org.  This is a confidential address managed by medical service staff. Your result will never be released to the workplace. We will use the information to guide the overall management in the HQ, and to update senior management anonymously about total cases.

Where to get tested:

(note this information subject to frequent change)

Private practice providers, including at major hospitals, offer telehealth services and some offer referrals for testing. We recommend reaching out to local facilities for information and availability. At this time the only facility for which information is available is the following:

Mount Sinai Hospital Telehealth Service

If you have questions about COVID-19 testing - including when and if you should get tested- Mount Sinai Hospital offers video urgent care. A clinician will address all of your questions and provide testing guidance. To access care or download the app.

UN and most insurances are accepted, copay applies.

Generally, tests are recommended if you experience moderate to severe symptoms (flu-like illness, cough, fever ≥38.0⁰C (100.4⁰F)) AND

  • are affected by a chronic condition (e.g. Diabetes, Chronic Lung Disease, Heart Disease, Immunosuppressed), OR
  • are at risk for group transmission (e.g. congregate housing, living with an immunocompromised person, living with elderly), OR
  • are a pregnant woman, OR
  • are 65 years old

Besides private physicians and emergency rooms in hospitals, testing can be performed in a number of NYC Health and Hospitals centers and at selected drive-thru testing sites, as listed below.

All testing sites require an appointment, which can be made calling 718-918-5700 or the Health Department Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

  • As tests are still limited in NYC, a number of prescreening questions will be asked. Individuals with no/mild symptoms are currently not tested at these centers to allow testing to be performed to individuals who have increased health risk.
  • An expert COVID-19 physician will then be reached. He/she will determine be if testing eligibility applies. If so, the patient will be added to a waitlist to be called back with an appointment date. Due to high demand, testing will most likely not be for the same day.

Acute care assessment and testing centers (serves 150 people per day)

  • Bellevue, 462 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
  • Elmhurst, 79-01 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373
  • Harlem, 506 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10037
  • Metropolitan, 1901 First Avenue, New York, NY 10029
  • Kings County, 451 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203
  • Lincoln, 234 East 149th Street, Bronx, NY 10451
  • Woodhull, 760 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11206
  • Queens, 82-68 164th Street, Jamaica, NY 11432
  • Coney Island, 2601 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11235 (operational next week)
  • Jacobi, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY 10461 (operational next week)

Drive-thru testing sites (serves 100 people per day)

  • Jacobi, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY 10461
  • Coney Island, 2601 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11235 (operational Friday, March 20)
  • Kings County, 451 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203 (operational next week)
  • Queens, 82-68 164th Street, Jamaica, NY 11432 (operational next week)

Community-based health centers (serves 75 people per day)

  • Gotham Health, Morrisania, 1225 Gerard Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452
  • Gotham Health, Belvis, 545 East 142nd Street, Bronx, NY 10454
  • Gotham Health, Cumberland, 100 North Portland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
  • Gotham Health, East New York, 2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
  • Gotham Health, Gouverneur, 227 Madison Street, New York, NY 10002
  • Gotham Health, Sydenham, 264 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10026
  • Gotham Health, Vanderbilt, 165 Vanderbilt Avenue, Staten Island, NY, 10304

State-run mobile testing site - Staten Island

The state-run mobile testing site is in a parking lot next to South Beach Psychiatric Center on Seaview Avenue. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment only. Those seeking an appointment with any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) should call the Health Department Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065

NEW YORK STATE

ROCKLAND COUNTY

Anthony Wayne Recreation Area - located off the Palisades Parkway. Appointment only, open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 888-364-3065.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY

New Rochelle: Glen Island Park, appointment only, open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 888-364-3065.

LONG ISLAND

Jones Beach State Park - Call the New York State Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for an appointment. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Jericho ProHEALTH Urgent Care in Jericho - To make an appointment in Jericho, visit prohealthcare.com or call 516 874- 0411

Stony Brook Stony Brook University. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call the New York State Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for an appointment.

ORANGE COUNTY

Newburgh: Cornerstone Medical Center in Newburgh is offering curbside testing for their patients in their cars. The testing takes place after Cornerstone patients are triaged through a telemedicine process with providers, which reduces risk to other patients and staff.

Wallkill: Crystal Run Healthcare and Orange Regional Medical Center in Wallkill currently have outdoor triage tents set up

NEW JERSEY

BERGEN COUNTY

Paramus Bergen Community College. Set to open Friday.

CAMDEN COUNTY

Camden County says it is waiting for COVID-19 kits so drive-through testing site can open. The testing site will be set up in the parking lot of Camden County College in Blackwood.

HUDSON COUNTY

Secaucus: Hudson Regional Hospital located at 55 Meadowlands Parkway. By appointment.

Secaucus: Riverside Medical Group located at 714 10th St.

MERCER COUNTY

Ewing; InFocus Urgent Care located at Campus Town on the campus of The College of New Jersey off Route 206. West Windsor: InFocus Urgent Care located at 64 Princeton-Hightstown Road.

MONMOUTH COUNTY

Holmdel: PNC Bank Arts Center on the Garden State Parkway. A date has not yet been announced for the FEMA- run facility to open Marlboro: Immediate Care at the Marlboro Medical Arts Building on Route 520.

CONNECTICUT

BRIDGEPORT

Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday

DANBURY

Danbury Hospital, 95 Locust Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday

GREENWICH

Greenwich Hospital, employee parking lot on Lake Avenue, 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday-Sunday

NEW CANAAN

Murphy Medical Associates, 564 South Ave., 9:30 a.m.- 12 p.m., Friday

NEW HAVEN

Yale New Haven, 150 Sargent Drive, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Saturday

NORWALK

Norwalk Hospital - Pre-screened people with symptoms of coronavirus can use Nuvance Health's COVID-19 drive- through collection site at Norwalk Hospital to give a specimen sample. NOTE: This is not a testing site. Testing is done offsite and results are not immediately available.

STAMFORD

Murphy Medical Associates, 589 Bedford St., 6 a.m.-8 a.m., Monday-Friday

Cummings Beach (Pavilion), Shippan Avenue. Scheduled to open Friday, 3/20.

STRATFORD

Murphy Medical Associates, 1000 Main St., 10 a.m.- noon, Monday-Friday

WESTPORT

In-car testing with Murphy Medical Associates will take place in the parking lot at Westport’s Bedford Middle School (88 North Ave.). Pre-registration required. Visit www.coronatestct.com or call 203-658-6051 for more information. Testing will be done on the following days: March 24 - 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. March 31, 2020 - 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. April 7, 2020 0- 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Home self-tests for COVID-19

A number of private companies are offering kit for home testing. While the UN does not endorse any of them, the following information is shared as an added available testing tool, given the large testing requests received in our office. Please note that most testing companies do not accept insurances.

NURX: https://www.nurx.com/coronavirus-testing , $181 per kit, currently available

EVERLY WELL: https://www.everlywell.com/blog/news-and-info/our-commitment-to-fighting-covid-19/, $135 per kit, available as of March 23rd.

CARBON HEALTH: https://carbonhealth.com/coronavirus (coming soon)

This guidance was authorized by the Occupational Safety and Health Unit of the UN Division of Healthcare Management and Occupational Safety and Health (DHMOSH), Department of Support Operations (DOS).

If you have any questions about the contents, contact osh@un.org