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Monday, August 29, 2022

President Marcos Vows to Revitalize MSMEs to Fuel Post-pandemic Recovery

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently pledged to support the revitalization of the country’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), recognizing the sector’s role in post-pandemic economic regeneration, job creation, and poverty reduction.

“As your President, I assure you that the revitalization of our MSMEs is among the administration’s top priorities,” President Marcos told the attendees of the MSME Summit 2022 at The Manila Hotel.

“I reiterate the government’s full commitment to work hand-in-hand with all stakeholders to make certain that MSMEs are protected and provided with ample opportunities, not only to recover from these extraordinary times but to grow and thrive in this modern age.”

World economies took a hit as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, with businesses being forced to rethink how they could survive the global health crisis and emerge stronger in the aftermath, the President said.

The MSME summit is a great opportunity for businesses not only to see the light at the end of the tunnel but also to finally break through into the sunlight, he stressed, adding that he is delighted to be part of this year’s launching.

The gathering, he noted, could be an apt platform for tackling the strategies on how to revitalize MSMEs under the new normal.

It will also be an avenue for the government and the private sector to find ways to work together, ensuring an enabling and sound environment for the recovery of the country’s MSMEs, which form part of the backbone of the economy by generating more than half of local employment.

President Marcos said he is pleased that the MSME Summit focuses on post-pandemic recovery and the promotion of digitalization, which are aligned with the administration’s priorities.

He also expressed his support for the MSME Development Council led by the trade department in formulating and implementing strategic goals to improve five key business areas: business climate, access to finance, management and labor, access to technology and innovation, and market access. 

This multidimensional approach, the President pointed out, will allow the country to breathe new life into its MSMEs and help them move forward to a more resilient and prosperous future.

After the country navigated through the pandemic in the past two years, the President said it is now the time to come up with pandemic-proof strategies that will allow local businesses to take wing and serve its consumer base with quality products and services.

“Indeed, the success of our MSMEs is crucial to fortifying the foundation of our economy. From this end, it is my assurance [that] we will continue to stand by your side, walk down the same road no matter the circumstances,” he said.

At the same time, Marcos commended Go Negosyo, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the US Embassy in the Philippines, and all other partners, describing them as the government’s reliable allies and partners for collaboration and innovation.

Also present were US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson, Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion III, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and other members of the diplomatic corps. 


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Governor Hochul Announces More Than 6,000 Illegal Gun Seizures as a Result of Interstate Gun Task Force Since January

Intrastate and Interstate Cooperation among Local, State and Federal Agencies Producing Results

Total Seizures Across New York State Increased 20 Percent from January Through July 2022 When Compared to First Seven Months of Last Year

Individuals Injured by Gunfire Decreased 12 Percent in Communities Participating in State-Funded Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative and 11 Percent in New York City

140 Percent Increase in New York State Police Gun Seizures Between August 2021 to July 2022 Compared to August 2020 to July 2021

Governor Hochul: "We are now working across borders, getting guns out off the streets and keeping people safe because my philosophy is: I'd rather be in the crime prevention business than the crime solving business. And that's what this is all about. So, we connect the dots while they're still out there before something tragic happens."

Hochul: "One year ago today, I said that my number one responsibility was to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers, and that is what I'm going to continue focusing on. We've seen too many lives destroyed by the ravages of gun violence inflicting trauma in too many communities from here and all across upstate. But given the scale of this crisis, we can only confront it in an effective way by working with partners who share our goals. "

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that police agencies have removed 6,007 illegal guns from communities across New York State during the first seven months of the year, a 20 percent increase when compared to the same timeframe in 2021. Joined by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Steven Dettelbach prior to a meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, Governor Hochul updated New Yorkers about her administration's comprehensive efforts to stem the flow of illegal guns, reduce gun violence and save lives. ATF Director Dettelbach touted the Task Force as a national model for other regions in the country to follow.


Mayor Adams, Members of 1969 ‘Amazin’ Mets Join Agee Family to Open I.S. 419 – Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the School Construction Authority (SCA), elected officials and members of the World Series Champion 1969 “Amazin” Mets recently joined the family of legendary Mets outfielder Tommie Agee to celebrate the opening of the Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus, I.S. 419 in Queens to start the school year.

Agee, who died in 2001, spent five seasons playing centerfield for the New York Mets, from 1968 to 1972. Regarded as one of the club’s all-time best centerfielders, Agee helped the Mets win their first World Series at nearby Shea Stadium in 1969. Agee’s wife, Maxcine, and daughter, J’nelle, as well as teammates Cleon Jones and Art Shamsky, joined the celebration of the school’s opening.

“Tommie Agee was not only part of the greatest ball club in this country, but a star player on the greatest team there ever was: the 1969 Amazin’ Mets,” said  Mayor Adams. “His presence fed the energy of New York City and we’re thrilled to celebrate Tommie’s contributions today at the new Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus. By continuing to create and improve the school buildings that the city’s children need and deserve, we are investing in New York City’s future. Congratulations to Tommie’s family, former teammates, and all Mets fans.”

“This brand new state-of-the-art facility is another example of the SCA’s ability to provide much needed new school seats to New York City’s students and families. I am proud of the SCA’s continued track record in helping to reduce overcrowding and provide nurturing learning environments,” said SCA President and CEO Nina Kubota. “I would like to thank all of the District 24 elected officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders for their support of our Capital Plan, which has enabled us to provide this new facility to meet the needs of this school community.”

“Our school buildings are extensions of our children, their families, our neighborhoods, and, most importantly, of our communities. The Tommie Lee Agee School is an incredible example of just that — a school that has the power to bring people, teammates, family members, students, and community members together to honor one of their own,” said DOE Chancellor David C. Banks. “Thank you to our partners at SCA for this beautiful new school building and, of course, to the New York Mets for modeling teamwork and community for our young folks and our city every day.”

“Tommie would have been so very proud to be recognized with his name on this beautiful state-of-the-art facility, making educational opportunities available to the students of East Elmhurst,” said J. Maxcine and J’nelle Agee. “Tommie was a true gentleman, on and off the field, and gave back in so many ways through his service and foundation. We, along with the New York Mets, are proud to share his contributions with the Queens community he called home.”

“This is such a fitting dedication — to name a school after Tommie in Queens,” said Sandy Alderson, president, New York Mets. “Queens was Tommie’s home. He lived, worked, and played here, and I know how proud he would be since education and community involvement were so important to him. The Mets are grateful to share this special day with Tommie’s family and teammates.”

“I am so grateful that the legacy of Mets legend Tommie L. Agee will live on in the naming of the new school I.S. 419 in East Elmhurst, Queens located minutes away from where the old Shea Stadium once stood,” said New York State Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry. “Tommie gave so much to his adopted hometown of Queens and the community is now recognizing his many contributions. I would like to thank all those who helped to make this possible.”

The new state-of-the-art school — located at 111-12 Astoria Boulevard — will serve students from grades 6 to 8. The 646 new seats will help alleviate overcrowding in District 24 as part of the more than 2,800 new seats created in Queens for the 2022-2023 school year.

The building is a fully air-conditioned, accessible five-story intermediate school. The facility provides 18 standard classrooms and two district special education classrooms, as well as reading and speech resource rooms. The school also includes a District 75 program, which contains eight additional classrooms with dedicated student restrooms, rooms for occupational and physical therapy, a guidance room, and a multi-purpose room. The building also includes:

  • An art classroom;
  • A science demonstration lab and prep room;
  • A music suite with sound-proof practice cubicles;
  • A library;
  • A gymnatorium, exercise room, and outdoor playground;
  • A full kitchen, cafeteria, and staff lunchroom;
  • Guidance, medical, and administration suites; and
  • A parent room.

“Tommie Agee’s on-field talent was a big reason why the Miracle Mets won the 1969 World Series, but his talent was matched only by his grit and determination — exemplifying the borough he loved and called home,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “The students of the new Tommie Agee Middle School exemplify those characteristics too. I couldn’t be prouder to help unveil 646 badly needed new school seats in the borough as we ensure Tommie’s legacy lives on.”

“Tommie Agee is special to Queens, and not just because of his incredible career with our beloved Mets. He has stayed in this community, giving back through charitable events and youth baseball, building a legacy as a member of our community in his own right,” said New York State Senator Jessica Ramos. “I'm thrilled that we can honor his work and his contributions to East Elmhurst here at I.S. 419.”

“It's no secret that New York City schoolchildren need more schools built for them to lower class sizes. With the opening of I.S. 419, our city is taking one step on the long walk towards educational equity,” said New York City Councilmember Rita Joseph, chair, Committee on Education. “I'm so excited for the Queens families who will benefit from this school, and I can't wait to see the great work that the students and educators do at the Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus!”

“There is nothing more exciting than opening the doors to a new state-of-the-art school in my district but opening the doors to a school named after one of my beloved Mets players makes it even more sweet,” said New York City Councilmember Francisco Moya. “Tommie Agee loved Queens and called it home. He would be proud to see that his legacy lives on and is a part of educating the young people of East Elmhurst just a stone’s throw from where he played the sport he loved.

“We are thrilled to name 24Q419 after the great Tommie L Agee. The school will exemplify all of the wonderful characteristics that Mr. Agee portrayed: fortitude, perseverance, strength and strong values,” said DOE School District 24 Superintendent Madelene Chan. “Our community is thankful to the School Construction Authority for this amazing building!”


Opinion: Robredo Receives Honoris Causa and Standing Ovation By Manuel L. Caballero




On My Watch this week is the ever popular and well-respected public servant and lawyer Leni Gerona Robredo, former PH Vice President.

Last Saturday, during the commencement exercises of all the 2022 graduates of Ateneo de Manila University, the ex-VP was  conferred with a doctorate in economics, honoris causa, by Ateneo.  

Speaking in Pilipino for 17 minutes, Dr. Robredo delivered a celebratory farewell address, reflecting on experiences, accomplishments and future hopes and aspirations. Those were exactly what a graduation speech should contain.

To emphasize the challenges of the modern world and life to the new graduates who will be leading new lives outside the campus, the former Vice President cited the experience of the israelites when Moses led them out of slavery and Egypt and hesitantly crossed the Red Sea successfully.

The commencement speaker, likewise, reminded her audience of the challenges they face in PH society mentioning the lies, disinformation and lack of dignity on the part of some.

Furthermore, she cited the lessons learned from the last election campaign and the awakening of young Filipinos like them to the reality of the times. She challenged the young graduates to serve the poor.

She concluded by intensely thanking Ateneo for granting her an honorary doctorate. She said at one point that even if she was from UP, she also felt like an Atenista now, which drew a loud applause from the graduates.

At the end of the address, the speaker was given an extended standing ovation, both by those in the hall and faculty members on stage.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Philippine Consulate in New York Issues Advisory Amid Recent Assault of 'Kababayan' in Manhattan

The Philippine Consulate General in New York advises the Filipino Community to remain vigilant after a 74-year-old kababayan was assaulted in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, 24 August 2022. 

Based on news reports monitored by the Consulate, the victim was walking along Madison Avenue near East 52nd Street when she was punched without provocation by another woman, who fled the scene.

The incident was caught on video and the NYPD is seeking the help of the public to help with information that will lead to an arrest.

In view of this incident, the Consulate reminds members of the Filipino Community as well as kababayan visiting New York to exercise the necessary precautions at all times while on the streets or in the subways.

Consul General Elmer G. Cato in a statement posted on social media said., “Speechless. Just speechless in the wake of another random attack directed again against a 74-year-old Filipina. While assaults against kababayan such as this are isolated, we cannot help but feel for the victims who are mostly helpless, elderly women. Although incidents like this as well as hate crimes have been more pronounced lately, these have been happening in New York and other parts of the world for the longest time. For some, these are nothing new. For others, these are a cause of concern. That is why kababayan in New York and wherever in the world they may be should be vigilant at all times and take the necessary precautions when outside their homes.”

Sentro Rizal WDC, Uniffied-MD Successfully Host Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2022

Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. (right) and UNIFFIED President Malou Cadacio (left) award Ms. Sophia Lee (center) a certificate of appreciation from the Embassy

 – In celebration of Buwan ng Wika or National Language Month of the Philippines, the Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. and the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFFIED) Maryland Chapter virtually hosted the week-long summer class program “Silid Aralan sa Embahada,” from 08 to 12 August 2022. The program’s in-person culminating activity was held at the Embassy’s Chancery Annex on 13 August 2022 with some students tuning in via Zoom.

This year’s theme “Kapit-Kamay Sa Hamon ng Bagong Henerasyon, Kulturang Pinoy ating Mahalin” was inspired by the declaration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of the year 2022 as the Year of the ASEAN Youth. In connection with this theme, the sessions for this program focused on equipping the students with knowledge and training as next generation leaders, as well as to instill both ASEAN and Filipino values and identity.

Participants and UNIFFIED Maryland Chapter teachers during the Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2022 culminating activity with Charge d’Affaires a.i. Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. (last row fourth from the right) and Vice Consul Mark Dominic E. Lim (rightmost, last row)

A total of 42 Filipino-American students ages 4-18 years old successfully completed the modules of this program that consists of the following topics: 1) Philippine History/Geography and National Symbols; 2) Values Education; 3) Folk Songs & Pinoy Pop Music; 3) Filipino Cuisine; 4) Filipino Games & Festivals; 5) Arnis; 6) National Language & Literature: Folktales, Plays and Poems; 7) National Costumes; and 8) Folk Dances. During the online lessons, renowned Filipinos and Filipino Americans graciously shared their time and talents with the students, such as Former National Youth Commissioner and OPM Artist Ice Seguerra, Rivermaya, Chef Paolo Dungca of Pogiboy DC, multi-awarded Fil-Am stage actress Regina Aquino, and Fil-Am Broadway actor Vince Ermita.

“The Embassy is very happy that many students all over the United States are interested in learning more about the Philippines, its colorful history, diverse culture, and rich tradition… You are the future of the Philippines and are all junior Filipino Ambassadors.” Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. said as he welcomed the students, parents, and teachers during the culminating activity. 

As part of the program, volunteers from the Migrant Heritage Commission showcased Fil-Am culture with an Arnis demonstration and a medley of cultural dance suites including Pangalay, Ragragsakan Basket weaver, La Jota de Moncadeña, Cariñosa, and Tinikling. Youth level participant Kyleen Neis and her brother Kyle Neis also performed Filipino musical numbers with a ukulele and a saxophone respectively. 

Ms. Rose Aquino-Valeriano (right) and her granddaughter Mal Aquino-Smith (left) during the live book reading session of “Holding On” written by Filipino-American Sophia Lee and illustrated by Filipino-American Isabel Roxas.

The culminating activity was also graced by Ms. Sophia Lee and Ms. Isabel Roxas, the creators of the book Holding On. In her inspirational message for students, Ms. Lee shared her experience in writing her book and how Filipino culture influenced her works.  It was made more special with a special book reading led by Ms. Rose Aquino-Valeriano and her granddaughter and Kids’ level participant, Mal Aquino-Smith.

The book is about Sophia’s childhood and summers in the Philippines with her grandmother.  It is the first Filipino picture book to be published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. which will be launched on 30 August 2022. More information about this book may be found through

Volunteers from Migrant Heritage Commission performing La Jota de Moncadeña

Kids’ level participant Jackson Briones and  his mother Elizabeth Briones shared their Silid Aralan experience as the program came to an end. “Although Jackson was the one enrolled in the classes, we both learned so much about the culture and heritage of the Philippines… John (husband) and I are so proud of Jackson for wanting to learn more about where his father grew up and the traditions of the Philippines. ” shared Mrs. Briones.

The culminating program of this year’s Silid Aralan sa Embahada would not be complete without refreshments for the participants courtesy of the famous Filipino fast food chain, Jollibee.Silid Aralan sa Embahada is an annual project of the Embassy in partnership with the UNIFFIED Maryland Chapter that teaches Philippine history, culture, and traditions to the Filipino American youth in the United States. This was made possible with the help of other Filipino Community Organizations such as the Filipino Class of Baltimore, Filipino American Cancer Care, Migrant Heritage Commission, and Pinakatay Arnis.


NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island Begins Performing Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery With a State-of-the-Art da Vinci Xi Surgical System

Robotic surgery will allow increased precision and accuracy, and faster recovery times.

Gravesend, NY – NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island recently announced it has begun performing minimally invasive robotic surgery in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, colorectal and general surgery with its Da Vinci Xi surgical system. The system was acquired through $2.6 million in FY21 capital funding from the former NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Council Member Mark Treyger. This new surgical option builds on the hospital’s greater strategic vision of enhancing its surgical, inpatient and ambulatory care departments to further improve patient experience and clinical outcomes. Coney Island Hospital projects it will complete approximately 200 robotic cases in the first year alone.

“Providing robotic surgical care is greatly improving the quality of life for our patients.  These advanced techniques mean less recovery time and less pain, allowing patients to quickly return to living their healthiest lives,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island CEO Svetlana Lipyanskaya. “We will continue to develop our surgical program this fall when we will open a brand-new surgical suite with eight operating rooms in the future NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health and its Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital. It is my honor to provide the residents of South Brooklyn and neighboring communities state-of-the-art health care they so richly deserve.”

“The addition of robotic surgery will greatly enhance our ability to provide the highest quality surgical care to our patients,” said Muthukumar Muthusamy, MD, Chief of Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.  “For the surgeon it is about having the clearest optics, vision and precision.  For the patient it is about less pain and quicker recovery.  It is a key part of our commitment to delivering safe surgery by the most minimally invasive techniques possible.”

“Since July, we have successfully completed a wide variety of surgeries including major urological, gynecological and general surgery cases. It is quite remarkable to see our patients recover very quickly and leave the hospital in a very short time,” said Abdo Kabarriti, MD, FACS, Chief of Urology, and Director of Robotic Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “As surgeons, it is critical that we are able to perform these surgeries with great precision allowing us to minimize blood loss. Equally important, is that we are able to complete these surgeries with the patient having minimal pain afterwards. I am very excited about offering robotic surgery to more patients at the future NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health as we move to expand the program to patients undergoing colorectal, bariatric and thoracic surgeries.”


Last year, NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island announced a milestone in its transformation with the renaming of its hospital campus. The facility will be renamed as NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health, and its new 11-story hospital building and the existing Tower building within the renovated campus will be jointly named after the late United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The new names will be effective fall 2022, when the new building opens.


To learn more about services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, or to make an appointment, call 844-NYC-4NYC.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Podcast | Tita Josie Harrison: America's Filipino Mom! by Mike of New York

Tita Josie Harrison: America's Filipino Mom!

By Mike Cohen

Josie Harrison lives the American dream, a successful mom and wonderful soul she came to the USA in her own unique way from the Philippines and then survived and thrived as a homemaker and mom in a military family and later as a single mom. She worked her way to success and inspired her kids to do the same via hard work and getting things done. Her family is the success story that is a movie #EasterSundayMovie  of Comedian Joseph Glenn Herbert also known as Jo Koy to fans. Jo Koy's  Mom Josie Harrison  is the inspiration to her very successful comedian son.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Jollibee Opens at Times Square, New York City

Consul General Elmer G. Cato (to the left of the mascot) joins Jollibee North America executives and investors in officially launching Jollibee’s fourth branch in New York City at Times Square on Wednesday, 17 August 2022. Known as “the crossroads of the world,” Times Square has one of the busiest pedestrian crossings with thousands of New Yorkers and tourists converging there daily. 

The Consulate General of the Philippines in New York sees the rapid expansion of this Filipino fast food chain in North America as a great opportunity to make Filipino food mainstream. (Photo by Tanya Faye O. Ramiro).


Friday, August 19, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul in Historic Meeting with Filipino American Community Members in 'Little Manila' Queens By Deirdre Levy

Photo by @c.lare

Governor Kathy Hochul Meets with Filipino American Community Members in 'Little Manila' Queens

By Deirdre Levy

For the FIRST time in New York State history, Kathy Hochul, the state’s first woman Governor, met with members of the Filipino community in Little Manila, Queens at Amazing Grace Restaurant. 

photo by @c.lare

Different questions were asked that came from the Philippine Nurses Association, Filipino Americans Against Asian Hate Network and one last question from me - the special education teacher who is following up on the call to action from the Filipinos Rise Up rally - providing accessible AAPI curriculum and focusing on bringing Filipino authors, especially those in New York State into our schools. Our stories are important and it’s crucial for the next generation to know them. Some books that were shown were from @ubebooks @fiercefilipina @daphnepalasia 

photo by @c.lare

Our next goal along with project barkada  is to get more Filipino books by Filipino authors to MORE teachers this FALL, especially with the looming budget cuts that are expected to happen for the @nycschools. We hope that you can continue to join us in making sure that our stories are told in classrooms. 

Governor Hochul was accompanied by Steven Raga, who is the state assembly candidate for NY district 30. Mr Raga organized the meeting. -Ed

Art Exhibit of Young Fil-Am Artists Opens in New York

Featured FOBBS artists who exhibited their work at the Philippine Center New York. (Photo by @thestreetrunways)

New York - The Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Center in New York are showcasing a one-of-a-kind exhibit called “Home Sweet Home” at the lobby gallery of the Philippine Center from 1-12 August 2022 featuring a group of young Filipino-American artists.

The event was organized and conceptualized in coordination with the Fresh Off the Boat Boys and Girls or FOBBS, a collective of young Filipino-American street and contemporary artists based in New York City.  The members of FOBBS have done street art exhibitions and projects for New York companies and businesses, and as a group, have shown their works in different exhibitions in the city in the past years.

Featured FOBBS artists who exhibited their work at the Philippine Center New York. (Photo by @thestreetrunways)

FOBBS’ goal is to engage and help educate their community and supporters, whether they are Filipinos or not, on their Filipino heritage and culture through their art.  The group’s membership has been growing since their last exhibit at the Philippine Center in 2019.

Through this art exhibit, the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Center highlight the contributions of contemporary and emerging Filipino-American artists in shaping the art landscape in the US.

A reception with the artists was held on Monday, 1 August 2022 at 6:30pm at the Philippine Center Lobby Gallery.

Young artists and Fil-Ams fill the lobby gallery of the Philippine Center to appreciate the exhibition during the opening reception held on 1 August 2022. (Photo by @thestreetrunways)

Deputy Consul General and Philippine Center Manager Arman R. Talbo said that the art show is a celebration of the talent and creativity of young Filipino American artists.  He encouraged them to continue propagating their art and to make the Philippine Center their “Home Sweet Home” in New York.

Among the featured artists are:


















@HMBL_ _



NYC Test & Trace Corps Rebrands as NYC Test & Treat Corps as Mobile 'Test to Treat' Program Expands to Over 30 Units

Rebrand reflects the program’s priority to directly connect New Yorkers who test positive to life-saving COVID-19 treatments, including through over 30 mobile Test to Treat units now providing Paxlovid prescriptions on site, and a 24/7 hotline for Paxlovid treatment.

New York  – The NYC Test & Treat Corps, formerly the NYC Test & Trace Corps, recently announced the program’s rebranding to reflect its priority to provide New Yorkers fast, convenient, reliable testing with direct connections to life-saving COVID-19 treatments. In furtherance of that effort, the NYC Test & Treat Corps also announced the expansion of the country's first-ever mobile “Test to Treat” program to over 30 units, including units focused on providing care to homeless New Yorkers. These units provide immediate access to Paxlovid after a positive COVID-19 rapid test. The mobile treatment initiative is complemented by New York City’s 24/7 COVID-19 hotline, which New Yorkers can call after a positive at-home test to be prescribed Paxlovid and arrange for home delivery.

"We have more tools than ever before in our arsenal to fight this pandemic, including ready access to lifesaving treatments and at-home tests,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Over the past few months, the NYC Test & Treat Corps has rapidly expanded access to both — distributing at-home tests for free at more than 1,200 locations across New York City, and opening over 30 of the nation's first mobile Test to Treat locations. This update shows New Yorkers where our priorities lie — on rapidly giving them crucial information and life-saving treatment. We will continue to innovate and lead the way in prevention and mitigation to move our city safely forward."

“The Test to Treat mobile units build on the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to providing equitable access to free testing and treatments for COVID-19,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. “In addition to brick-and-mortar sites providing services, these Test to Treat mobile units bring lifesaving treatments directly into the communities that need it most.”

“Test to Treat’s one-stop-shop model, providing tests, and allowing New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 to get the highly effective antiviral Paxlovid on the spot, is just the kind of innovation we need to stay on top of the virus in the City,” said HHS Regional Director Dr. Dara Kass. “As an Emergency Room physician, it’s clear that the sooner we can identify, isolate, and treat COVID-19, the more effectively we can save lives, and prevent the overburdening of health care systems. This type of partnership is one of many resources to help New Yorkers combat the virus and get back to normal.”

“The NYC Test & Trace Corps has done a tremendous job of providing New Yorkers with critical resources to safely isolate or quarantine, get tested and receive treatment and vaccinations,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Now it’s time to focus on the next phase of the pandemic as we learn to live with COVID-19. The NYC Test & Treat Corps will continue to help save lives by connecting New Yorkers with fast, reliable testing and effective, same-day treatment.”

"Treatment is the defining feature of this phase of the pandemic — the more New Yorkers we treat, the more people we prevent from having to be admitted to the hospital, and the more lives we can save," said Dr. Ted Long, Executive Director of the NYC Test & Treat Corps and Senior Vice President, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The program’s new name, the NYC Test & Treat Corps, shows the critical focus we are placing on treatment to save lives. We not only have a 24/7 hotline you can call for same day delivery of Paxlovid to your home, but also the first-in-the-country mobile Test to Treat program where you can receive Paxlovid minutes after a positive test. These steps will protect New Yorkers from COVID-19 and lead our city safely forward.”

"The City is prioritizing getting treatment to New Yorkers as quickly and as easily as possible," said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "The Health Department is working hand in hand with the Test & Treat Corps to ensure New Yorkers have access to the life-saving tools they need."

“This is a rebranding that we can all be excited about!” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “The NYC Test & Trace Corps’s change to NYC Test & Treat demonstrates the major gains we have made medically allowing those who test positive, immediate access to the anti-viral Paxlovid provided at any of the over 30 NYC Health + Hospitals designated sites where NYC Test & Treat mobile vans are stationed. I want to thank NYC Health + Hospitals for their work in keeping New Yorkers safe as we continue to combat COVID-19 in our city.”

“The New York City Test and Trace has proven proficient in reaching people in traditionally underserved neighborhoods, and now as ‘Test and Treat’ they will be better equipped to direct New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 to the potentially life-saving treatments they may require,” said New York City Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, District 46. “I particularly applaud the announcement of the over 30 mobile units which will provide immediate access to Paxlovid to those New Yorkers in need, including our vulnerable homeless population and help stop the spread of the virus in our communities.”

“Use of Paxlovid very effectively reduces the risk of severe outcomes with COVID-19, but it needs to be started within five days of symptom onset, and it is being underutilized, especially in people who are medically underserved,” said Dr. Peter Kilmarx, Deputy Director of the John E. Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. “The NYC COVID-19 Test & Treat Corps has made COVID-19 testing and Paxlovid treatment available to more New Yorkers, including those who are experiencing homelessness. Testing and treatment are the core pillars of the response to infectious diseases.”

“The one stop model of combining COVID-19 testing with treatment is a major step forward towards achieving equity and overcoming the stark disparity in access to critically-important treatment,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, Director of ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

"Paxlovid has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization among older people and those with chronic medical conditions, who may be at risk for severe COVID,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, Infectious Disease Specialist and Epidemiologist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, Senior Fellow & Editor-at-Large for Public Health at KFF's Kaiser Health News, member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID Advisory Board and host of the “American Diagnosis” and "Epidemic" podcasts. “But too many people with COVID aren't getting treated with Paxlovid. Mobile treatment units and community outreach are essential to getting Paxlovid to vulnerable populations."

“In the beginning of the pandemic, NYC Test & Treat Corps became a leader in providing fast, free testing, contact tracing and supportive isolation and quarantine,” said Dr. Jay Varma, Director of the Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response and former Senior Advisor for Public Health for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, in the next phase of the pandemic, the Corps is creating the nation’s most extensive, customer friendly program to get New Yorkers fast diagnosis and treatment to prevent COVID-19 severe illness and death.”

New Yorkers who test positive at one of the over 30 mobile Test to Treat units will be offered the opportunity to engage with an onsite clinician and, if eligible, walk away with free Paxlovid anti-viral medication. The mobile Test to Treat program’s expansion includes units operated by the Street Health Outreach + Wellness (SHOW) program, a mobile health initiative focused on treating New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and those historically disconnected from care.

Test to Treat mobile units are currently deployed at the locations listed here. New Yorkers can visit to find the city-run testing site nearest and most suitable to them, including by filtering testing sites by Test to Treat, mobile testing or at-home test distribution locations.

When treatments became available in December 2021, the NYC Test & Treat Corps, in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), acted quickly to build two pathways that expedite and ensure equitable access to these life-saving medicines. In addition to the mobile Test to Treat program, the city’s unique 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline, 212-COVID-19, provides New Yorkers who test positive — including those using an at-home test — an immediate connection to a clinician who can prescribe treatments. After a short assessment, these clinicians can refer patients to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, and arrange to have it delivered to their home that same day.

The city’s COVID-19 Hotline, which utilizes NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare platform to connect patients to clinicians, has connected over 16,000 New Yorkers to Paxlovid, providing 12% of all Paxlovid prescriptions issued in New York City. Due in large part to the success of its hotline, the city recently partnered with the NYS Department of Health to provide a statewide treatment hotline for all New York state residents. Since the mobile Test to Treat program’s launch on June 30, Test to Treat’s staff have tested over 16,000 New Yorkers and have connected more than 750 immediately to Paxlovid.

These proactive measures have provided a national model for how to effectively distribute COVID-19 medications. A paper published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association recognized that the widespread, equitable distribution of COVID-19 treatments in New York City has driven its Paxlovid utilization rate as of late June 50% higher than the national rate. The study also found that the high utilization of Paxlovid has potentially resulted in  signification reductions in the number of hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions.

There are currently nearly 400 sites to access testing across New York City, including mobile units offering rapid and PCR testing, hospital PCR testing sites and at-home test distribution sites. Test & Treat will continue to work hand in hand with community partners to ensure testing deployments reach New Yorkers in neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19 and to coordinate closely with DOHMH to make data-informed decisions.

Multiple COVID-19 treatments are available for people ages 12 and older and can be delivered to New Yorkers' homes for free. For more information on COVID-19 treatments, please call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit

New York City has worked to ensure that no one suffers from Long COVID in silence. Studies show that 10 to 15% of COVID-19 infections lead to Long COVID, a wide range of new, ongoing or returning symptoms patients may experience 28 days or more after their initial infection. The NYC Test & Treat Corps will continue to offer dedicated support for those with Long COVID, connecting them to physical and mental health resources, social services, financial assistance and treatment through its AfterCare program.

The AfterCare program has referred over 300,000 New Yorkers to resources to date, including physical and mental health services, financial assistance and community support. In addition, NYC Health + Hospitals’ three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence offer New Yorkers dedicated short- and long-term follow-up care for Long COVID, including pulmonary care, cardiological care, diagnostic radiology services, comprehensive mental health services and examination rooms with special technology to safely isolate patients who may have COVID-19.

If you or a loved one are suffering from or think you may have Long COVID, please call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319), select your preferred language and press 4 to speak directly to an AfterCare navigator. Please visit the AfterCare website and review the Long COVID recovery guide for more information about Long COVID and the resources available to you.

About the NYC Test & Treat Corps

The NYC Test & Treat Corps is the city’s comprehensive effort to respond to COVID-19 by providing New Yorkers accessible, no-cost testing, rapid connections to COVID-19 treatments and resources to support those recovering from Long COVID. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the NYC Test & Treat Corps provides New Yorkers equitable, widespread access to the critical tools for COVID-19 testing and treatment.


About NYC Health + Hospitals

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 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit and stay connected on Facebook at or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem