Free Rapid Testing Kits Available for Health Departments and Health Care Providers

October 12, 2020

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has announced in a letter to associations (attached) that it will provide, on a limited basis, free point of care COVID-19 testing instruments and test kits to local health departments (LHDs), their partners, and health care providers that can demonstrate a plan for their equitable use.

Hospitals and health systems that are interested in receiving testing kits are instructed to work with their LHDs or apply on their own by submitting a testing plan using the attached DOH plan template and a 1-2-page description of how they will use the supplies to ensure equity, support their community and/or schools, and support other DOH testing priorities. DOH encourages health care providers to coordinate and collaborate with LHDs.

LHDs and health care providers must submit requests to by Friday, October 16, 2020. 

DOH will begin reviewing the first round of requests on a rolling basis starting October 12, 2020. After the first round of requests and distributions, further requests will be considered on a rolling basis until supplies are no longer available.

DOH’s distribution of testing kits is part of its effort to help increase access across New York State to free COVID-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes, and without having to send a specimen to a lab. These rapid tests include both Abbott BinaxNOW and Abbott ID NOW tests cards/machines and test kits. Abbott ID NOW machines can also be used to run Influenza A & B assays. DOH will offer training on the use of the machines.

Please contact Zeynep Sumer King or Jenna Mandel-Ricci with questions about the DOH testing kits. We will coordinate closely with DOH to obtain answers.

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