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

For Permanent Missions of Member States in New York

Key Points

  • The UN is focusing its efforts on supporting field locations.
  • The UN medical service is providing an in-home COVID-19 testing capacity for those staff members of Permanent and Observer Missions who are sick. At this stage testing of dependents is dependent on capacity and because of the workplace health implications, the focus is on staff members.
  • To request testing, see the information below.
  • Almost all the other information Mission staff may require on illness, treatment, access to care and support for COVID-19 is on the NY page of this website and will apply to staff of Permanent Missions - we highly encourage you to review it.

How to request testing:  If you are currently unwell, send an email to osh@un.org requesting review for testing and include:

    • Your first name, last name, and date of birth.
    • Your Mission.
    • Your full address with zipcode.
    • Your contact telephone number.
  • UN medical service staff will call you to confirm details and add you to the review process.
  • Note – we will prioritize cases to provide as many tests as possible but this does not guarantee testing for all who request it.
  • 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 the UN Headquarters complex.
  • Testing is not available for dependents just yet, and depends on capacity.
  • After the test is taken, you will be contacted by phone call from our contracted provider  within 1-3 days to advise the result. They will check your health and if necessary referred to a practice who can support you if you need additional care.

Background on testing:  The details are provided in a Note Verbale, but in brief the testing is provided by the Division of Healthcare Management and Occupational Safety and Health (DHMOSH) in the Department of Operational Support as part of its overall workplace safety and health mandate. This testing program covers staff members of the United Nations system based in New York and staff employed by Permanent and Observer Missions to the United Nations in New York, who meet the clinical criteria for testing.  This is a fully mobile service – it is not offered in the HQ complex, and in accordance with host city and host state guidance, staff should remain at home when ill, except for medical emergencies.

The programme 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.

Should the Permanent Mission be interested in contributing to the programme, please contact medcontrib@un.org 

The information available on the New York page and the main page of the un.org/coronavirus website is relevant to staff of Permanent Missions to the United Nations. The main changes will relate to different circumstances and different insurance coverage. The United Nations recognizes the unique circumstances that members of Permanent Missions may find themselves in, particularly as it regards the response in their home country, and that in the host country. 

If you are ill, follow the instructions in the ‘I’m Sick’ page. These are up to date and apply to Mission staff and their families exactly as they do for UN staff.

If Permanent Missions are seeking help to obtain cleaning supplies to accommodate they can contact the US Mission which covered this within a Diplomatic Note on 13 March 2020.

For any further questions, contact the HQ New York  Occupational Safety and Health team at osh@un.org for advice.