On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams revealed coronavirus testing sites in New York City would begin giving the antiviral COVID drug paxlovid to people who test positive for the virus as part of the city’s new “Test to Treat” initiative.
The initiative is considered the first of its kind in the United States.
“This mobile Test to Treat program will save lives today and prepares us for future waves of this pandemic,” Adams said.
Adams said mobile testing units managed by the city’s Test & Trace Corps have brought on clinicians who can immediately issue prescriptions for antiviral medications like paxlovid — which comes free of charge as part of the program.
According to reports, the new Test to Treat units is partnering with local pharmacies for a quick turnaround on prescriptions.
The program will reportedly start with three mobile testing units paired with three pharmacies — the one in Inwood, Burke Avenue Pharmacy in the Bronx, and Rex Pharmacy in South Ozone Park, Queens.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said they decided to make the program so that lifesaving treatments like paxlovid reach our hardest-hit communities.
“We must ensure lifesaving treatments like paxlovid are reaching our hardest-hit communities,” Jha said.
Jha said COVID deaths are down 90% since Biden took office in Jan. 2021 but also stressed that “COVID isn’t over.”