March 12, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of New York Forward Rapid Test Program to Help Businesses, Venues and Catered Events Reopen Safely

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Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of New York Forward Rapid Test Program to Help Businesses, Venues and Catered Events Reopen Safely
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26 Sites Opening for a Total of 38 Sites Statewide

New Sites Opening in New York City, Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Western New York and on Long Island

Expansion Anticipates Resumption of Catered Events on March 15 and Reopening of Event, Arts and Entertainment Venues April 2

Public-Private Partnership First Announced in Governor's 2021 State of the State to Make Low-Cost Rapid Testing Available for Enhanced Economic Activity

Learn More About New York Forward Rapid Test Program Here and Find A Test Site Near You Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an expansion of the New York Forward Rapid Test Program to help businesses and catered events safely reopen, with 26 sites opening within the next week for a total of 38 sites statewide. This unique public-private partnership—first announced in the Governor's 2021 State of the State and launched last month—makes low-cost rapid testing available to the public to support enhanced economic activity as the State continues to reopen sectors of the economy, including weddings and catered events on March 15 and event, arts and entertainment venues on April 2. To find participants in this initiative and to make an appointment, visit the program website.

"As more New Yorkers are vaccinated and rapid testing becomes more widely accessible, we can start to reopen the economy and give New Yorkers a semblance of normalcy while sticking to the same disciplined, data-driven approach that we've maintained throughout the pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why the New York Forward Rapid Testing Program is expanding beyond its initial New York City footprint to support communities and economies on Long Island and in Upstate New York. Together, we can use the tools and tests available to ensure we're staying socially responsible while helping our local businesses and strengthening the economy."

The New York Forward Rapid Test Program aims to dramatically expand access to rapid testing to allow business and entertainment centers to more safely re-open. The network provides an additional layer of protection and confidence as New Yorkers resume economic activity, and it anticipates State guidance that will increase capacity limits contingent upon testing.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "The statewide expansion of the New York Forward Rapid Test Program will further enhance this innovative initiative we launched to accelerate the state's post-pandemic economy. The program's public-private collaboration aims to provide patrons with the peace of mind and clinical certainty to stay safe while ensuring that businesses can reignite the commercial marketplace."

Testing providers participating in the network must make rapid testing available for no more than $30, provide participants with their results within 30 minutes, offer a mechanism for people to schedule in advance and report the results to the State. To reduce the cost of testing for New Yorkers and expand the number of sites, the State is providing access to Abbott BinaxNow tests at cost to some providers and working with the Real Estate Board of New York, Business Improvement Districts and other partners across the state to identify vacant spaces in commercial centers that can be donated for the testing network. A donated site must be in a commercially-zoned corridor, contain at least 750 square feet of open space and be available immediately for a minimum of six months. Sites must have street-level access, a restroom and be Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant. Entities that meet the above criteria and are interested in participating should email [email protected] for consideration.

Individuals who are not experiencing COVID symptoms and that have not had a recent known exposure to COVID-19 may participate in this initiative by visiting participating locations and completing a questionnaire. Individuals must continue to comply with all New York Forward guidelines on reopening, including but not limited to the use of face coverings, social distancing, and other protocols.

Testing at the new and existing sites will be operated by BioReference Laboratories, Clarity MedHealth, Quest Diagnostics and Rapid Reliable Testing. Additional sites are expected to open in the coming weeks.

To find participants in this initiative and to make an appointment, visit the program website. The following testing locations will be opening in the next week:

Open for booking today:

  • Quest Diagnostics, 2415A Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 8229 153rd Avenue, Queens, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 115 East 57 Street, Suite 1530, New York, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 331 West 57 Street, New York, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 146 A Manettohill Road, Plainview, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 91 College Plaza, Selden, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 151 South Main Street, New City, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 1869A E Main St, Beach Shopping Center, Peekskill, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 280 Dobbs Ferry Road, White Plains, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 380 Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 2 Executive Park Drive, Albany, NY
  • Quest Diagnostics, 98 John James Audubon Parkway Buffalo, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 168 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 532 Neptune Avenue, Unit 1, Brooklyn, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 68-02 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 275 Third Avenue, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 338 East 23rd Street, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 387 Park Ave South, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 358 5th Avenue, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 205 West 34th Street, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 200 West 57th Street, Suite 604, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 352 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1204, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 380 Second Avenue, New York, NY

Open for booking next week:

  • Rapid Reliable Testing, 5 Times Square, New York, NY
  • Rapid Reliable Testing, 81 Essex Street, New York, NY

The following testing locations opened last month:

  • Clarity MedHealth mobile lab at New York City Police Memorial, Liberty Street and South End Ave, New York, NY
  • Clarity MedHealth mobile lab at Irish Hunger Memorial, Vesey Street and North End Avenue, New York NY
  • Clarity MedHealth mobile lab at Pier A, 22 Battery Place, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 231 West 40th Street, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 6 West 52nd Street, New York, NY
  • BioReference, 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 27 N 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 30-97 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 1916 Williamsbridge Road, Bronx, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 2182 Broadway, New York, NY
  • BioReference at CVS Pharmacy, 475 6th Avenue, New York, NY

A negative test result does not rule out the possibility of infection or mean that an individual is not at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. However, the initiative's screening and testing is another tool - in addition to the use of face coverings, social distancing, and other protocols - that can put New York State businesses on track to reopen more safely at higher capacities. To learn more about the New York Forward Rapid Test Program and view the Department of Health guidance, visit the program's website.

On February 22, Governor Cuomo announced that beginning March 15, weddings and other catered events can resume statewide at 50 percent capacity with no more than 150 people per event. All patrons must be tested prior to the event.

On March 3, Governor Cuomo announced that beginning April 2, event, arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors and, if all attendees present proof of negative test prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance.

New York has been at the forefront of developing testing capacity throughout the COVID-19 crisis, conducting more than 200,000 tests per day on average. Visit the Health Department's website to find a testing site near you.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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