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Mayor Eric Adams, Health + Hospitals launch mobile-based “Test to Treat” program

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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) joined by White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha to announce the launch of the country’s first-ever mobile-based “Test to Treat” program.

This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday June 30, 2022.

According to the statement, participating mobile testing units managed by NYC Test & Trace Corps will now include a clinician on their team to provide instant access to prescriptions for no-cost, antiviral medications for eligible New Yorkers who test positive at these sites.

The initial Test to Treat units are partnering with local pharmacies to provide immediate distribution of medication from the prescription.

As the launch continues, the program will expand to over 30 units over the month of July.

This program will also shift to be able to distribute antiviral medications in the units this summer, ensuring New Yorkers have even more immediate access to life-saving treatments.

“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,” said Mayor Adams.

He added, “By getting lifesaving medications into the hands of New Yorkers minutes after they test positive, we are once again leading the nation to quickly deliver accessible care to those who need it. This mobile Test to Treat program will save lives today and prepares us for future waves of this pandemic, keeping more New Yorkers safe and healthy.”

“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,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

“But we know COVID isn’t over, and we must ensure lifesaving treatments like Paxlovid are reaching our hardest-hit communities. That’s exactly what New York City is doing with the launch of the nation’s first mobile Test-to-Treat clinic.”

“Today we are offering you another, faster, way to get treated, where you can walk away with an oral medication a matter of minutes after a positive test,” said Dr. Ted Long, executive director, NYC Test & Trace Corps; senior vice president, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals.

“Working with trusted local pharmacies, and soon equipping our actual units with Paxlovid, this new mobile Test to Treat model lets us equitably bring treatment to all New Yorkers and protect our city so that we can continue to recover together.”

“Health services, including for COVID-19, should be omnipresent and capable of meeting people where they are,” said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

“We’ve learned during the pandemic how important it is to bring care to people, in an equitable way, prioritizing vulnerable groups and neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. In addition to home delivery of medications, we should be ready to hand off lifesaving medications to those who may not feel comfortable or confident using tele-visit services and deliver end-to-end services at a single point-of care. The new mobile Test to Treat model continues the city’s track record of innovation in our pandemic response.”

“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, NYC Health + Hospitals.

“The Test to Treat program meets patients where they are, providing access to immediate COVID-19 treatment to those eligible. I want to thank Mayor Adams and Dr. Ashish Jha for their continued support and commitment to the care of all New Yorkers.”

The Test to Treat mobile program is starting with three mobile testing units, paired with local pharmacies, and will expand to more than 30 units through the month of July. In the initial phase, New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a prescription from a clinician at the mobile site and be able to pick up the medication at the co-located pharmacy or through the city’s free home delivery program.

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