City Starts Opening Free Rapid-Test Clinics, With Covid Results in 24 Hours or Less


Photo via CDC.

Coronavirus testing has been a mess with Upper West Siders telling us they’ve sometimes had to wait as long as two weeks to get results — making those results all but worthless.

But now the city Department of Health is opening clinics with faster response times. You need to make an appointment, and so far there are only three locations. But Councilmember Mark Levine says that they’ll soon be adding six more. Find out more and make an appointment here.

NEWS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Someguy says:

      Its a lie that two weeks you need to wait. I went to CityMD last week and they only asked for an ID,phone number and less than 48hrs i knew my result. And this was the CityMD of 88st. I know people that went on June and July at the same place and results returned less than 72hrs. They call you if your positive. But you can dial their aftercare number with the number that you gave when you did the test. Just by dialing the number you are prompted if you want to know your results.

      • rteplow says:

        I know this is all anecdotal, but I went to the same CityMD the end of July. My blood test came back 24 hours later but the swab test took 12 days.

      • Barbara Litt says:

        NOT a lie! Took my daughter 14 days to get results!! From CitiMD. I’m guessing things are picking up because the second test–taken elsewhere–was a ONE day wait for her!

      • Minx says:

        Many people have had to wait days to weeks for test results, but because you haven’t it is a lie?

      • UWStoBK says:

        It took two weeks to get my results. It differs for different people @someguy.

    2. UpperWest says:

      Will these use the new, cheaper, faster-to-process saliva tests? If so, that’s very significant.

    3. Sid says:

      I never got my results from CityMD (tested June 28!)

    4. Noemie says:

      Signed up tomorrow in Chelsea! This rep is Twitter gold!

    5. Xan says:

      No open appointments. No surprise.

    6. Paul on W 67 says:

      I have been tested twice, both at City MD on Broadway and 69th. In May the test results (nose swab and antibody blood) came back in 7 days. This past week, I was tested on August 13 (nose swab only) and the results came back 3 days later on August 16.

      Also, in May the line stretched down the block and the while thing took over an hour. Last week I was in and out in about 20 minutes.

      Your mileage may vary

      • lynn says:

        I’d normally go to Northwell but they’ve made the process ridiculously complicated. Is City MD walk in or appointment only?

    7. Sammy says:

      Always try and go to a place that uses a lab run by the state. They are a lot faster. City MD uses the national labs that can get very backed up at times it’s kind of a crap shoot with them…But, places that use state labs are generally faster.

    8. CRAIG says:

      took the nose swab 7/21 at 88st MD,they cant find/lost my records, so much for that. NO MORE!!

    9. Kate says:

      Basically we have a limited testing capacity. When there is a flare-up, even in another region, and testing demand increases, we hit the testing capacity limit and we get a backlog. That’s why it was taking 2 weeks to get a test at the end of July.

      When the backlog goes down, or testing capacity increases (which it did at the end of July due to the FDA providing provisional authority to pool tests for low-risk individuals) then the turn-around-time for testing improves dramatically. Right now, no matter where you test, you should be able to get results in 72 hours.

      Although, to be fair, the Antigen tests, which have results in 20 minutes and can be done in any lab with any reagent is likely to be a game changer. They have been provisionally approved by the FDA and should be up and running within a month or so.

    10. Chelsea says:

      I got tested in Chelsea yesterday at 9:30 am and got my results back online at 1:30 pm. It’s a nose swab (very uncomfortable!), but was very pleased with the efficiency of the operation.

    11. No appointments available:(

    12. Trish says:

      Got tested at 8 this morning at the new quick-turnaround site on 168th. I had the result by 2 pm! I previously got a test at MedRite in Inwood on 7/20 from which I still have no results (in fairness, the blame should apparently fall on Quest Diagnostics, where they sent the sample).