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NYC Test & Trace Corps Partners With City Cultural Sites and Public Libraries to Distribute Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Initiative provides at-home testing to New Yorkers in areas of need at familiar community sites in all five boroughs

Feb 11, 2022

New York, NY

The NYC Test & Trace Corps announced today that 14 landmark City cultural sites and 27 branches of The New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library will receive at-home COVID-19 test kits to give to New Yorkers free of charge. Weekly walk-up distributions will begin Monday, February 14.

“Our mission remains to make testing resources accessible for all New Yorkers to safely and confidently manage the pandemic,” said Dr. Ted Long, Executive Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps and Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “Distributing at-home tests at cultural sites and libraries provides familiar, prominent locations for people to pick up the resources they need to know if they have COVID-19 and to return to the beloved destinations that make our city so special. I am grateful for our cultural and library partnerships and excited to see them lead New York City safely forward.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked to provide New Yorkers easy access to resources, incorporating familiar touchpoints in their own communities,” said Health Department First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “Cultural institutions and libraries are trusted neighborhood hubs, and we are excited to partner with these institutions to facilitate more New Yorkers getting the tests they need.”

Test & Trace will make weekly deliveries of at-home tests to cultural sites and libraries, where they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to one per person while supplies last. Test & Trace will update its testing website daily with the hours and pick up locations of cultural sites and library branches with tests available. The distribution of tests will not impact other aspects of cultural site or library branch operations.

At-home test distribution through prominent City cultural sites and library branches will bring critical self-testing resources to areas of need at familiar locations in all five boroughs. Initial partners include six sites in the Bronx, ten sites in Brooklyn, seven sites in Manhattan, thirteen sites in Queens and five sites on Staten Island. Additional partnerships will be added in the weeks ahead.

Public libraries, trusted spaces in every community, have supported the City’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, providing information, distributing tens of thousands of masks, offering spaces for testing, and working with NYC Test & Trace to offer pediatric Pfizer vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 in select branches across the city.

Participating cultural sites and library branches and their hours of distribution are listed below:

Cultural Sites

  • Bronx
    • Bronx Museum of the Arts
      • Tuesdays, 1 to 4 p.m.
    • Wave Hill
      • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Brooklyn
    • Brooklyn Children’s Museum
      • Monday – Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m.
    • Brooklyn Museum
      • Wednesday – Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.
    • Weeksville Heritage Center
      • Tuesday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Manhattan
    • American Museum of Natural History
      • Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • El Museo del Barrio
      • Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • The Museum of the City of New York
      • Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Queens
    • Flushing Town Hall
      • Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 12 to 5 p.m,
    • Queens Botanical Garden
      • Tuesday – Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.
    • Queens Theatre
      • Tuesday – Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.
  • Staten Island
    • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
      • Monday – Friday, 2 to 3 p.m.
    • Staten Island Children’s Museum
      • Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
    • Staten Island Zoo
      • Monday – Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Public Library

Tests can be picked up at the following libraries Tuesday and Thursday between 2 and 6 p.m., except at Central Library/Civic Commons, noted below.

The New York Public Library, serving the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island

Tests can be picked up at the following libraries Monday – Friday between 12 and 4 p.m.

Queens Public Library

Tests can be picked up at the following libraries Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 12 to 7 p.m., except at Central Library, noted below.

Some branches, noted with a * below, offer additional pick-up hours Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

“Throughout the pandemic, New York City’s libraries – trusted public institutions in all five boroughs – have strongly supported the City’s ongoing work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting New Yorkers with the resources they need to keep themselves and their communities healthy and safe,” said The New York Public, Brooklyn Public and Queens Public libraries. “Ensuring at-home tests are readily available is an important part of this fight, and we are pleased to support these efforts. We hope to see New Yorkers at our branches to pick up a test…and a book.”

“We are proud to partner with the City and support the health and well-being of our communities,” said Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) Chair and Executive Director of Queens Theatre, Taryn Sacramone. “Throughout the pandemic, cultural institutions have served as vaccination and COVID testing sites, as well as food banks, polling sites, and more. We have opened our doors, and have also used our reach as community anchors to make New Yorkers aware of the resources available to them. The City’s pressing need in 2022 is for at-home tests to be distributed, and we are proud to do what we can to support that effort, while continuing to offer diverse and meaningful institutional programming.”

“Brooklyn Children’s Museum is excited to continue to be a resource for the communities of New York City in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” said Atiba Edwards, Executive Vice President & COO of Brooklyn Children’s Museum. “In addition to being a vaccine site for all eligible ages, BCM will now offer testing kits to the public at no cost.”

“We know there is a great need for more accessible COVID testing, especially in the outer boroughs and neighborhoods such as Flushing,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “We are happy to partner with the city on making rapid tests more available to the public.”

“The Museum of the City New York is honored to have the opportunity to be of service to its East Harlem community and beyond,” said Whitney Donhauser and Ronay Menschel Directors of the Museum of the City of New York. “As New York City’s storyteller for nearly a century, and a member of the Cultural Institutions Group, we are proud that organizations like ours can be a source of support during times of need.”

“Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is proud to serve as a distribution site for free at-home COVID test kits and to support the Staten Island community through this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jessica Vodoor, Executive Director of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. “Expanding free access to COVID testing for the broadest possible segment of our diverse North Shore Staten Island communities is essential to our city’s recovery, and we’re happy to continue Snug Harbor’s service as a community resource in partnership with the City. Supporting the health and wellness of our communities is central to Snug Harbor’s mission, and we’re happy to do our part!”

Wave Hill is happily stepping up to help get rapid COVID tests out to the Bronx community,” said Karen Meyerhoff, President & Executive Director of Wave Hill. “Distribution is during free hours so that folks can also visit the gardens to take in the fresh air.”

“We owe the success of our organization—from our founding to becoming a Cultural Institutions Group—to our community,” said Dr. Raymond Codrington, Weeksville Heritage Center President & CEO. “ It is an honor to serve our neighbors who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic in this way with the support of our peers and the City.”