COVID-19 rapid result testing will be made available to every county in New York State.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The New York State Department of Health will deploy an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits free of charge to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers to help increase access in all corners of New York State to free COVID-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes and without having to send a specimen to a lab, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced.

The New York State Department of Health will prioritize the distribution of testing kits to counties and local health care providers in areas seeing a recent uptick in cases. The rapid tests can be used to control new outbreaks, conduct surveillance testing, and will also be made available on an as-needed basis to help schools in 'yellow zones' test students and staff as part of new requirements to monitor COVID-19 spread as part of the Governor's Cluster Action Initiative, officials say.

"From day one, testing has been one of the most vital tools we have to accurately assess COVID-19's spread in New York. Today New York State is building on our nation-leading testing program to expand rapid testing to every corner of the state, to give health care providers and localities the tools they need offer free rapid testing to their residents and patients," Cuomo said. "These rapid test kits will allow health care institutions throughout the state to quickly and accurately determine COVID-19's spread, control outbreaks and keep families and communities safe. Further, the state is taking precautionary steps to ensure localities are providing rapid testing for schools that are nearby communities that have seen recent upticks in cases and are offering in-person instruction. We will provide rapid test kits, as needed, free of charge to all localities to help them meet this new requirement, giving parents, teachers, and students confidence in the safety of their educational experiences."