How to Get Tested for COVID-19 in New York City


Quick Guide to COVID-19 Testing in NYC

With a new surge in COVID-19 infections across New York as we approach this holiday season, getting yourself tested is a good idea. NYC health officials recommend testing on a regular basis, up to once per month, even if you’re not currently experiencing symptoms. Keep reading to learn about COVID-19 testing options and locations in NYC.


Should you get a Diagnostic Test or an Antibody Test?

  • A diagnostic test indicates if you have an ACTIVE infection of Covid-19. It typically involves a quick nasal or throat swab.
  • An antibody test detects antibodies in your blood, but it can’t distinguish if you have an active infection or if you’re recovering from a past infection.
  • If you want to know if you’ve been infected recently, we recommend getting a diagnostic test.


Where can you go to get tested?

  • You can get a free rapid PCR test at one of NYC’s COVID Express Sites. Results are delivered within 24 hours, and sometimes as quickly as a few hours. There are 9 locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Testing is free, but by appointment only.

  • You can get free, walk-in testing at community testing sites operated by NYC Health + Hospitals. The turnaround time for results is a few days.

  • For a full list of testing options near you, use the city’s COVID-19 Test Site Finder. All sites operated by New York State are free of charge. For other sites, check with your insurance provider to see if testing is covered.


Want to avoid long lines?

  • Many testing sites are experiencing long waits, especially at CityMD and Urgent Care locations, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
  • At NYC Health + Hospital Locations, lines tend to move fairly quickly compared to the urgent care centers.
  • Wait lines are shorter on Saturdays and Sundays compared to weekdays.
  • Lines also tend to be shorter in the late morning or early afternoon.


About Green Orchard Group

Green Orchard Group is a leader of Environmental Health & Safety Services in NYC, specializing in COVID-19 disinfection services. Our services include disinfectant wiping and cleaning of high-touch surfaces, atomized and electrostatic fogging, and air scrubbing with HEPA filters.

If you’ve recently had a known or suspected case of COVID-19 in your home, office, or business, contact us today to have the area professionally decontaminated according to CDC guidelines.

Our HAZWOPER-certified professionals are available 24/7 for emergency decontamination services.



Photo Credit: Medical photo created by freepik