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 prevention@health.ny.gov 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.