As New York City continues its recovery from COVID-19, the NYC Test & Trace Corps today announced the launch of the AfterCare program to support New Yorkers living with the long-term effects of COVID-19. The new initiative housed in the Take Care program leverages the City’s wide-ranging resources to help Test & Trace clients cope with the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of life.
“For New Yorkers with Long COVID, your city is here for you,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are building a fair recovery for all of us, which means giving New Yorkers citywide the support they need to come back stronger than ever.”
Long COVID is a collection of symptoms that develop during or following a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, that continue for weeks or months afterward. It is estimated that Long COVID affects approximately 10% of those with COVID.
The AfterCare program connects Test & Trace clients with ongoing health and social needs to the full range of resources and referrals relating to Long COVID including NYC Health + Hospitals COVID-19 Centers of Excellence. Assistance is available in the areas of physical health, mental health, community support, and financial support such as paid sick leave.
AfterCare is launching with outreach to former Test & Trace COVID-19 cases who reported symptoms at the end of isolation through SMS text notification. Clients will be directed to the AfterCare website, nyc.gov/aftercare, where they can select the resources most relevant to their needs, and get connected. Resources and referrals will be updated on an ongoing basis.
Through its COVID Centers of Excellence, NYC Health + Hospitals continues to provide a wide array of resources to New Yorkers with long-term effects of COVID. NYC Health + Hospitals has opened two of three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence in Tremont in the Bronx and Jackson Heights, Queens. The Centers of Excellence are designed to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, including specialized services like pulmonary and cardiology care, radiology and diagnostic services, and mental health services. Patients can be referred to the one of the centers after a hospital visit or through their primary care provider. Positive COVID-19 test results, antibody or not, are not required. The third Center for Excellence in Bushwick, Brooklyn will open later this year.
“COVID-19 exposed deep health inequities in New York City, and with the launch of AfterCare today, we are taking the next step in our fight toward a fair recovery rooted in support for the communities most in need,” said Dr. Ted Long, Executive Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps and Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “AfterCare grows from our commitment to support New Yorkers living with Long COVID over the long haul, and to be there for these patients no matter what.”
“While we continue to help New Yorkers safely separate from COVID-19 every day, we know that for many patients, the effects of the virus can linger over the long term, and we are launching AfterCare to address that ongoing need,” said Dr. Amanda Johnson, Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps Take Care Program and Assistant Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “AfterCare will connect New Yorkers living with Long COVID to the full range of our health and social resources, to help manage the impact of the virus on every dimension of life.”
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.