Mobile Test-to-Treat Program For COVID-19
On Thursday, June 30th, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams, NYC Test & Trace Corps, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to announce the launch of the country’s first-ever mobile-based “Test to Treat” program.
A clinician will now be part of the team, giving immediate access to prescriptions for free and antiviral drugs to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 at participating mobile testing units run by NYC Test & Trace Corps.
Throughout July, the program will grow to include more than 30 units as the launch process unfolds. This program will also adjust to include the distribution of antiviral drugs this summer, guaranteeing New Yorkers even more immediate access to life-saving treatments.
Mayor Adams said, “New York City may have been at the epicenter of the pandemic at the start, but now we are leading the way in prevention and mitigation.” He continued, “By getting life-saving medications into the hands of New Yorkers minutes after they test positive, we are once again leading the nation in delivering accessible care to those who need it quickly.”
Dr. Jha said, “We have made a lot of progress in our fight against COVID-19—deaths are down 90 percent from when President Biden took office, and vaccines and treatments are keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives.
However, we are aware that COVID is still going on, so we need to make sure that the populations that have been most severely affected are getting life-saving treatments like Paxlovid. New York City is doing just that by establishing the nation’s first mobile Test-to-Treat clinic.”
Dr. Ted Long, executive director, NYC Test & Trace Corps; senior vice president, Ambulatory Care, and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals, shedding more light on this said, “Today we are offering you another, faster, way to get treated, where you can walk away with an oral medication in a matter of minutes after a positive test.”
Still on Mobile Test-to-Treat Program For COVID-19…
DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan, in line with other speakers, said, “During the pandemic, we learned how crucial it is to provide care to people in a fair manner, giving priority to vulnerable groups and the areas that have been most severely affected by COVID-19.”
“New Yorkers trust the high-quality care they receive at NYC Health + Hospitals, and our new Test-to-Treat mobile vans are an extension of the four walls of our hospitals and clinics,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.
“The Test-to-Treat program meets patients where they are, providing access to immediate COVID-19 treatment to those eligible.”
Starting with three mobile testing units partnered with local pharmacies, the Test to Treat mobile program will eventually include more than 30 units by the end of July. In the initial stage, residents of New York who test positive for COVID-19 will be given a prescription by a clinician at the mobile site and have the option of picking up the drug from the nearby pharmacy or using the city’s free home delivery service.
As the program grows, New Yorkers who test positive at a participating mobile testing unit will be allowed to speak with an on-site clinician and, if eligible, get a free course of Paxlovid antiviral medication. The program builds upon the nation’s top mobile testing and vaccination initiatives of the NYC Test & Trace Corps, which have given New Yorkers 1.9 million tests and 285,000 vaccines.
Test & Trace will continue to collaborate closely with DOHMH to make data-informed decisions and to ensure deployments are reaching New Yorkers in the neighborhoods most affected by COVID-19.