Coronavirus News: New York City reaches COVID testing goal; 1,000 tracers by end of month

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City reached it's goal of 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day a week early and is on track to have 1,000 tracers in the field by the end of May, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday.

A new partnership between New York City and urgent care provider CityMD will create 123 sites for diagnostic testing across the five boroughs.

The sites will be open seven days a week, walk-ins will be welcome and CityMD will cover the cost of the test for anyone who is uninsured.

Mayor de Blasio said the arrangement will increase the city's testing capacity by 6,000 per day allowing it to outpace its target of 20,000 tests a day by May 25.

"We're going to keep growing," Mayor de Blasio said. "With 20,000 a day you're almost at 150,000 a week, our goal is to continue to build that rapidly."

The mayor said 500 contact tracers have completed training with Johns Hopkins University and another 1,000 are in progress.

Field training for many of them will take place the week of May 24 during which they'll be preparing for over 100 different scenarios.

The first group of 100 tracers will begin their work that same week and they'll work with those who have tested positive.

Mayor de Blasio said he anticipates that group will be able to trace almost 2,000 cases by June 1.

The mayor said he expects the "army of tracers" to grow to at least 5,000 and could reach as high as 10,000.

"In the next literally two weeks, you're going to see a vast testing and tracing operation come alive like we've never seen before in this city, and this is just the beginning," Mayor de Blasio said.

You can find the testing site nearest you at citymd.com.

Additionally, 140,000 antibody tests are available for New Yorkers, free of charge.

You can make an appointment at nyc.gov/antibodysurvey or by calling (888)279-0967.

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