More than 14,500 people have been tested for the coronavirus in New York so far, and there are 4,152 confirmed cases, with 21 deaths.
The sharp increase in confirmed cases is due largely to increased testing. However, many residents have been left confused about how and where to access tests for the virus and/or are concerned with news of limited access to testing and a backlog in results.
The good news is news, the city has ramped up its testing this week.
Beginning Thursday, NYC Health + Hospitals will increase their Coronavirus tests by 5,000 per day and results will be available within 1-2 days, Mayor de Blasio announced on Tuesday.
Beginning today, NYC Health and Hospitals will increase their Coronavirus tests by 5,000 per day and results will be available within 1-2 days.
Also five drive-through testing centers are planned before the end of the week, the locations are yet to be released and people will need to make reservations to be tested. and Brooklyn has a number of testing locations.
In addition, many healthcare centers are now doing telehealth, where patients can see their doctor via video calls through their mobile phones or computers.
But even with the slow ramping up of available tests in New York City, keep in mind that coronavirus tests are prioritized for those with serious illness and health issues, and those showing severe symptoms.
If you are feeling not well, or you think you might have the coronavirus, the C.D.C recommends taking these actions:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Separate yourself from other people in your home
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean all "high-touch" surfaces everyday
- Monitor your symptoms
If you show symptoms for 3 or more days you should call your doctor or 311 for immediate advice, where an expert will help you determine if you need treatment and testing and tell you where to go, or whether you should stay home and continue to monitor your symptoms and isolate.
There are several NYC Health + Hospitals and federally qualified healthcare centers across Brooklyn that cater to people without health insurance, and will not turn away any patient.
"They will direct you to the closest facility. HHC hospitals and federal qualified healthcare centers do not worry about insurance, and they are in every borough," said a spokesperson at the Community Healthcare Network. "If a patient goes to anyone of those facilities they will be seen, whether they have the money or not."
Public health officials say it will take 12-18 months to fully approve any vaccine for this novel Coronavirus.