Pharmacy, Grocery Store, Supermarket Workers & Others in Contact with the Public Can Get a FREE COVID-19 Test

If You Work in a Pharmacy, Grocery Store, Supermarket or work in contact with the Public then You’re Eligible for a FREE COVID-19 Diagnostic Test.

Essential Workers Can be Tested – Governor Cuomo Follows Up on Earlier Statement

Early this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed a new Online Page through which New Yorkers could find their nearest COVID-19 testing site. As part of this initiative, the eligibility criteria would be expanded to include essential workers who come in direct contact with the public as well as those returning to the workplace during a phase 1 of the state’s regional phased reopening plan.

This would be a follow-up to the Governor’s original related statement on April 25. It was then that he made clear how Non-Symptomatic Essential Workers would be allowed to take the COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Pertinent details borrowed from the website can be found below.

To some, the definition of what constitutes an Essential Worker might seem vague.

For clarity, I’ve called the New York State Department of Health and was told that yes! Essential Workers, such as those working in pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarkets and such, are eligible for free COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing by appointment.

There is, as well, the following slide from the Governor’s April 25 briefing. Farther down on the page you’ll find other related slides.

NY Essential Workers Eligible for COVID-19 Testing

The above slide mentions the following ESSENTIAL WORKERS:

  • Animal Care Workers (e.g Veterinarians)
  • Automotive Service and Repair Workers
  • Bank Tellers and Workers
  • Building Code Enforcement Officers
  • Child Care Workers
  • Client-Facing Case Managers and Coordinators
  • Counselors (e.g. Mental Health, Addition, Youth, Vocational, Crisis, etc.)
  • Delivery Workers
  • Dentists and Dental Hygienists
  • Essential Construction Workers at Occupied Residences or Buildings
  • Faith-Based Leaders (e.g. Chaplains, Clergy Members)
  • Field Investigators/Regulators for Health and Safety
  • Food Service Workers
  • Funeral Home Workers
  • Hotel/Motel Workers
  • Human Services Providers
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers
  • Mail and Shipping Workers
  • Maintenance and Janitorial/Cleaning Workers
  • Optometrists, Opticians, and Supporting Staff
  • Retail Workers at Essential Businesses (e.g. Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, Convenience Stores, Gast Stations, Hardware Stores)
  • Security Guards and Personnel
  • Shelter Workers and Homelessness Support Staff
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers/Professors/Educators
  • Transit Workers (e.g. Airports, Railways, Buses, and For-Hire Vehicles)
  • Trash and Recycling Workers
  • Utility Workers

Guidance from the official NYS Department of Health Site.

As New York State aggressively expands COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity, the Department of Health has revised guidance to increase testing for frontline workers, including all first responders, health care workers, and essential employees who interact with the public, while continuing to prioritize resources. Testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider for individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, the individual has a compromised immune system, or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
  • An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19; or
  • An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine; or
  • An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; or
  • An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing; or
  • An individual is included under other criteria set by the NYS Dept. of Health based on an individual’s geographic place of residence, occupation, or other factors that the Department may deem relevant for COVID-19 testing purposes; or
  • Any individual who would return to workplace in Phase 1.

I would like to add the following fact. I asked NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on May 3 to expand upon the Governor’s April 25 statement regarding the above. The Mayor either truly wasn’t aware of that which I was referencing or genuinely did not wish to answer. Although, thereafter, his office responded to my requests stating that yes, the Mayor was in fact aware of that which the Governor had stated concerning Essential Workers.

Now, I mention the above ONLY to point out the lack of communication or lack of coordination between the Mayor’s Office and that of the Governor. Just the other day, the Mayor would speak about this subject as it pertained to CityMd, an organization that was helping in this effort of mass testing. Yet, not once did he make mention of Essential Workers.

Others eligible for Free Covid-19 Diagnostic Testing

Please keep in mind that this would not be the only course of action available to the following Front line workers and First Responders.

NY Frontline Workers Eligible for COVID-19 Testing
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NY First Responders Eligible for COVID-19 Testing