Navigating the Ongoing Battle: What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Now

As we continue to coexist with COVID-19, it remains crucial for New Yorkers to stay informed and proactive in managing the ongoing challenges posed by the virus. Testing, treatment, and vaccination options continue to be available, ensuring that individuals, regardless of insurance status or financial ability, can access essential healthcare services. This comprehensive guide outlines key aspects of the current COVID-19 landscape, empowering individuals to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. 


Updated COVID-19 vaccines for the 2023-2024 season are recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. These vaccines are specifically designed to provide protection against newer variants of the virus. Residents can easily find vaccination sites using the NYC Vaccine Finder, contributing to community-wide immunity. 


COVID-19 testing, both laboratory and self-testing, remains low to no cost at City-run locations. While private insurance may not reimburse for at-home test kits, the city continues to provide free at-home rapid test kits for pickup at various sites. COVID-19 Express Testing locations remain open for those who need timely results. 


Oral antiviral medicines, including Paxlovid, are currently available for free. Individuals seeking treatment can use the COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator or call 212-COVID-19 for assistance. NYC Health + Hospitals ExpressCare continues to provide free prescriptions, and additional treatments are available at low to no cost at Health + Hospitals sites. 


Support for those experiencing long COVID remains a priority. Individuals suspecting they have long COVID are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider or visit a Post-COVID Care Clinic. Resources like Post-COVID Care Clinics and the NYC Health + Hospitals AfterCare Program offer assistance for those navigating the complexities of long-term symptoms. 

Masking and COVID-19 Transmission:

Masks continue to be effective tools in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Recommendations on mask usage vary based on the level of community transmission. Currently at a low level, individuals are advised to consider wearing masks in crowded indoor public settings, on public transit, at large events, and when shopping in crowded stores. High-quality masks such as KN95, KF94, or N95 are recommended for optimal protection. 

In the ongoing battle against COVID-19, knowledge and proactive measures are our strongest allies. New Yorkers are encouraged to stay updated on vaccinations, get tested when needed, and adhere to masking recommendations based on community transmission levels. The city's commitment to providing accessible healthcare services ensures that everyone can play a role in safeguarding public health. By staying informed and actively participating in preventive measures, we collectively contribute to a safer and healthier future for our communities.