Free Covid-19 Testing and Antibody Test Center Opens Up on UWS


Photo via CDC.

For the first several weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, city officials urged people who had relatively mild symptoms of the virus to stay home and not get tested. That advice has changed. The city now wants to get a better sense of who is suffering from the virus.

A pop-up site run by a company called SOMOS just opened at 145 West 96th Street, and is expected to be open until next Tuesday, May 26, according to Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell. People need to sign up in advance for appointments by calling 1-833-SOMOS-NY. The site offers both virus testing and antibody testing. The tests are free.

Other spots in the neighborhood also offer testing, with various requirements. The state has a map of testing locations you can access here. Among the locations are CityMD’s at 2398 Broadway (88th), and GoHealth Urgent Care at 199 Amsterdam (69th).

One important thing to know about antibody tests: they are not extremely accurate right now, and even a positive test doesn’t mean you are “immune.” So continue taking the precautions you’ve been taking for weeks. Gothamist has a good rundown of the tests.

NEWS | 35 comments | permalink
    1. Mark Moore says:

      Testing is good of course but if you test negative that doesn’t mean you won’t test positive tomorrow.

      • Zanarkand says:

        True. But it is a clean slate for the most part and your personal actions can determine whether you will exposed yourself to the virus or not.

      • ben says:

        This. And that if you have antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get infected again.

        • Briant says:

          Well, actually, that’s precisely what is implied and backed up with data out of South Korea that showed all “reinfections” were later cleared as false positives.

        • Covid Jones says:

          This is misinformation. There is no reason to believe that antibodies do not protect against reinfection.

          It would literally be unlike every other virus we have ever encountered.

          • J. L. Levine says:

            I agree with your logic, however the language of science is a little bit different from colloquial enunciations. We can use logic to infer what you’ve wrote. Based on previous knowledge of how viruses work, it stands to reason that you’d be correct. But that’s not enough for science. Scientists need to test and be sure with a statistical degree of confidence that getting this virus will leave you immune to it.

    2. Natali says:

      Can those who want one explain why? I spoke to my doctor yesterday and she confirmed that the test for whether you have it is basically useless because if you have symptoms you shouldn’t be going somewhere you can infect others and should instead be isolating and maybe take OTC meds for some of the symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms you could be asymptomatic and still get others sick when getting tested. If you test positive there’s still nothing to do but isolate and take OTC meds. If you test negative then by the time you get the results you may not still be negative because you could have picked it up on the way home from getting the test, the very next day, etc. Hell, you could even get it on your way to the test but the test wouldn’t pick it up that fast. And apparently false negatives are a concern.

      • David S says:

        The article says exactly why:
        “The city now wants to get a better sense of who is suffering from the virus.”

        • Sarah says:

          They have to test the asymptomatic to even begin to get some idea of the true prevalence in the population.

      • Katie says:

        For me, it removed a level of terror when it was confirmed that I had the virus and now have the antibodies. I still behave physically exactly as I did before getting my results (mask, social distancing, hand washing), but now I feel more at ease which ultimately helps strengthen my immune system, which in turn will help protect me from being re-infected.

      • Steve B says:

        Your doctor is correct about infection testing from the perspective of what does testing do for the person being tested. However, if we broaden that perspective, information about whether you are positive can be used by contact tracers to find others who have been exposed to you and test them. If they test positive, they can be isolated, tested, and traced as well. This is one way to decrease the virus spread rate. Yes, there are still logisitical and resource hurdles to effective tracing in NY but we are getting closer. In short, a positive test result, used well, is useful information for public health overall.

    3. max says:

      if you want your dna on record with the government by all means go take the test

      • David S says:

        Maybe loosen the chinstrap on your tinfoil hat a bit?

      • GG says:

        I hate to be the one to break it to you, Max, but if the Government wants your DNA they are getting it…that is, if they don’t already have it.

        Next you’re going to say that they are doing it to implant a microchip or something. What is it with all these silly conspiracies?

        • Weinberg says:

          Ugh. You UWS progressives are all such boot-licking statists. The government says “obey” and you all just follow orders. Terrible.

      • Eric Geier says:

        One of beginning scenes of Annie Hall says it all…

        ROB
        Ah, Max, you, uh …

        ALVY
        Stop calling me Max.

        ROB
        Why, Max? It’s a good name for you. Max,
        you see conspiracies in everything.

    4. SHLOMO says:

      NOT MY D.N.A

    5. Eva Beller says:

      Cute Urgent Care on Bway between 101-102 St
      Also offers testing.

    6. Elizabeth says:

      I called and they said it was free if you did not have insurance. I asked how much it cost since I’m not sure if the company would waive the deductible on this. The person who answered could not give me an answer.

    7. Susan says:

      The antibody blood test identifies prior exposure/recovery to CoVid-19 and asymptomatic carriers.

    8. Katie says:

      What I was told by CityMD and by my doctor who works at Mount Sinai, is that while the Covid test can have inaccuracies (and of course you can be negative one day and positive the next), the antibody test is 99% accurate. I suspected I had coronavirus back in March and was recently tested at CityMD. They routinely give both tests, and my results came back just as I expected they would. Negative for the virus (meaning I probably don’t have it right now), and positive for the antibody which means I HAD the virus, which indeed I did. It was also suggested to me to contact Mt. Sinai to donate blood so they could then take its plasma which in turn may end up helping someone in dire need. I’m definitely going to do that-I think it’s my duty, and the duty of everyone who carries the antibody.

    9. Celeste says:

      I tried the SOMOS number and it doesn’t work.

    10. Shi says:

      They’re not accurate? What is the purpose of testing?

      • Katie says:

        If a person has Coronavirus symptoms and they test positive, chances are the test is accurate. So it’s not that the test isn’t inaccurate, it just isn’t 100% accurate. But the antibody test, from what I’ve been told, is 99% accurate.

    11. Why Wear Gloves? says:

      Can someone give me a scientific and well-reasoned answer as to why people wear gloves when they leave the house? I understand the mask protocols regarding to whom the benefits of wearing a mask accrue but can’t figure out how gloves make a difference. I believe the CDC has recommended that gloves not be worn except by those working in medical facilities. They say that glove wearing can actually spread the virus more.

      • Katie says:

        I haven’t heard anything about not wearing gloves, so I wore them for the first few weeks. They helped to remind me not to touch my face after touching things like public doorknobs, ATMs, and the pens at the bank. I think people wear gloves just because it’s such a frightening and uncertain time. Of course we’re finding out now, and will find out more and more, that there are many things we’re doing that we actually don’t need to do but at this point, if there’s no harm in it, I think people should do whatever makes them feel safe.

        • Kayson212 says:

          Katie gives a good and reasonable answer. Our understanding of how Covid-19 most likely spreads has evolved over time. Initially, there was a lot of concern over transmission via surfaces — so wearing gloves to avoid touching things someone with the virus might have touched made sense. Although evidence now suggests transmission is largely airborne, it’s not conclusive that surfaces don’t matter. So glove-wearing is a sensible precaution.

        • Boris says:

          But gloves don’t help at all if you do the same behavior with gloves as without. Touching something that has the virus will not cause one to get infected as long as you don’t touch your face. I see people taking gloves off the wrong way and then putting the same pair back on. There are established guidelines for the use of gloves in medical settings and not following them can create more risks.

    12. To Test or Not to Test says:

      The test is worthless. The inventor of the test, Kary Mullis, specifically said it should not be used to identify any virus. it was not designed to test for viruses. Unfortunately, Mullis passed away in August 2019.

      When have we ever tested for viruses? You get the virus, you recover unless there are serious underlying issues already impacting your immune system, and the virus disappears in a couple of years.

      Remember Norvovirus? Every time a cruise ship docked in NYC we were felled with the virus. The more under stress you were, the sicker you were. Two years later it disappeared. That was 20 years ago.

      Qui Bono–Who benefits from masks, gloves, vaccines, tests, and the manufacturing of fear?

      The President of Tanzania recently had RNA tested from a goat and the Paw Paw fruit for covid-19. He created an identity for each and they both came back positive. No more tests in Tanzania.

      Furthermore, the original genetic matter was never filtered for this virus. The genetic matter being tested now includes matter from a variety of illnesses. The positives can be for any of those illnesses that you MAY have had over the years.

      Want to learn more? Look up Dr. Andy Kaufman. He explains it in calm terms without anger or ego.

      With all due respect, this isn’t an UWS vs UES issue.

      This is a matter of not blindly accepting what you are being told by MSM voices coming from one’s fear box.

      Do your own research. And then trust your instincts.

      In the meantime, what has this pause in our usual hectic lives taught us?

      More and more I hear how much people are appreciating nature, time with family and reconnecting with old friends.

      How can we re-design our lives moving forward to maintain this re-found balance and consider work as service to others rather than just as a way to earn money?

      • West Seventy-Seconder says:

        “When have we ever tested for viruses?”
        Uhhh, measles, rabies, herpes, ebola. Do you need me to go on?

        I’m not sure you want to hang your hat on the president of Tanzania. When you say the tests both came back positive, you realize that’s just according to him, the man who believes you can pray away COVID and hasn’t released any infection numbers to the WHO in over a month (while experts think infections are escalating rapidly in his country).

        The problem with trusting fringe authorities over the prevailing scientific thinking is not that you’ll never be wrong, it’s that you’ll usually be wrong and will be more likely to cherry-pick denialist and contrarians to support your own cognitive biases.

      • Parker says:

        This comment is wildly inaccurate and readers should carefully vet any of the conclusions reached by the commenter.

        If you have questions about COVID-19 and testing, please reach out to your medical providers or the NYC Department of Health.

      • NYYgirl says:

        It’s NOROVIRUS and it is absolutely still around, hardly disappeared, just temporarily overshadowed, since, as horrible as it is, it’s not killing tens of thousands of people in a matter of months. And don’t even get me started on those floating petri cruise ship thingies. Not missing them at all.