Photo of at-home COVID-19 tests

Official NYC Council Photo by John McCarten

Free COVID tests now available from NYC schools

Amidst an uptick in New York City COVID-19 cases, local schools are combating the trend with free test kits. Every week, students can bring home four test kits– two for themselves and two for their families. 

In an April 27 message to families posted to the Department of Education’s website, Dr. Cristina Meléndez asked family members to use the kits weekly, with at least five days between tests if asymptomatic. 

“Our school communities remain safe following spring recess,” the posting read. Meléndez informed families that tests would be available “until further notice.” 

Last week, 2,885 cases were recorded in New York City. Although the case rate is increasing, hospitalizations remain stable and deaths are becoming less frequent. 

ZIP code 10474 in Hunts Point recorded the lowest positivity rate in the city the week of April 27 to May 3, at just 1.6% with three positive cases. ZIP code 10454 in Mott Haven and Port Morris was the neighborhood with the second lowest positivity rate, at 2.38%. ZIP code 10455 in Mott Haven had a higher positivity rate of 5%, while ZIP code 10459, spanning Charlotte Gardens and Hunts Point, had a positivity rate of 4.35%. 

Despite its low positivity rate, 10474 was the neighborhood with the highest recorded 28-day hospitalization rate in the city between late March and late April, at 41.8 people per 100,000.

Students who test positive are instructed to stay home; the isolation period is ten days for those up to Pre-K age. Students of at least kindergarten age can cut their isolation short after five days if they are asymptomatic or have declining symptoms, but must remain masked at school until the full ten days are up, according to instructions contained in the website message to parents.   

Virtual learning is available for students throughout their isolation and should be arranged with the child’s school.

https://www.motthavenherald.com/2017/02/20/0426/ https://motthavenherald.com/2017/10/23/20210408/