The Department of Health (DOH/the Department) continues to monitor the situation and work to expand COVID-19 diagnostic and serologic testing for New Yorkers.
Appropriate and efficient standards for testing are an essential component of a multi-layered strategy to prevent sustained spread of COVID-19 in New York State and to ensure resources are being efficiently and equitably distributed. New York State continues to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 on a daily basis. However, until such time as we are at full capacity, this guidance is necessary to ensure that New York State prioritizes resources to meet the most urgent public health need.
Diagnostic and/or serologic testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider when:
• An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, the individual has a compromised immune system, or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
• An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19; or
• An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine; or
• An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; or
• An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing.
To support the statewide coordinated testing prioritization, health care providers should take the following prioritization into consideration when ordering a COVID-19 test:
1. Symptomatic individuals, particularly if the individual is part of a high-risk population, including persons who are hospitalized; persons residing in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, or other congregate care settings; persons who have a compromised immune system; persons who have an underlying health condition; and persons who are 70 years of age or older.
2. Individuals who have had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19.
3. Individuals who are employed as health care workers, first responders, or in any position within a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care setting, including but not limited to:
• Correction/Parole/Probation Officers
• Direct Care Providers
• Health Care Practitioners, Professionals, Aides, and Support Staff (e.g. Physicians, Nurses, Public Health Personnel)
• Medical Specialists
• Nutritionists and Dietitians
• Occupational/Physical/Recreational/Speech Therapists
• Paramedics/Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
• Police Officers
• Residential Care Program Managers
Diagnostic Testing Access:
Individuals who fit these prioritization categories and do not currently have access to testing can call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/ to be screened for eligibility, and if eligible, have an appointment set up at one of the State’s Testing Sites.