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Mobile units to begin deployments in Soundview and Castle Hill on Monday, November 2

NEW YORK — (November 2, 2020) – The NYC Test & Trace Corps and Essen Health Care, the largest privately owned multispecialty medical network based in the Bronx, today announced a partnership to provide increased access to COVID-19 testing at no cost for residents of neighborhoods underserved by testing. Mobile units will initially be deployed in the Soundview and Castle Hill areas, and subsequently to surrounding areas where testing sites are less readily available.

“Every New Yorker should get tested for COVID-19, and that begins with providing easy access to free testing in communities where the need is greatest,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “We are pleased to partner with Essen Health Care to expand testing options in underserved areas of the Bronx, and the Test & Trace Corps will provide the full range of our free support services to anyone who tests positive.”

The partnership between the Test & Trace Corps and Essen Health Care will bring safe and confidential testing for COVID-19 and to neighborhoods where testing sites are currently less widely available, beginning with mobile unit deployments in Soundview and Castle Hill on Monday, November 2. Essen Health Care mobile units have traveled to over 160 locations in the Bronx since the start of the pandemic and continue to be one of the largest testers of COVID-19 in this medically underserved community.

“Since March, Essen has performed over 60,000 COVID-19 and antibody tests for the residents of the Bronx, with over 7,000 through our mobile units,” said Dr. Sumir Sahgal, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Essen Health Care. “The Bronx community has been hardest hit with this virus from the beginning, so safe and accurate testing is a necessary resource required to maintain community health. We are pleased to be able to bring access to more people through this vital partnership.”

“Our partnership with Essen Health Care brings COVID-19 testing within reach for more people in the Bronx, at a moment when we need to fight back the virus in our communities,” said Annabel Palma, Chief Equity Officer of the NYC Test & Trace Corps. “I urge all residents to get tested often, even if they have no symptoms, and we will offer all the support you may need, regardless of immigration status.”

Mobile Units will be available Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 2pm at the corner of Lafayette Ave and White Plains Rd. in Soundview/Castle Hill, 9am to 2pm on Wednesday at the corner of Fordham Rd and University Ave in Fordham and Thursday and Friday, 9 am to 2pm at the corner of 181 Street and Grand in Morris Heights. Testing is at no cost and confidential, and no appointments are required.

Essen Health Care also offers COVID-19 testing at its 16 Metro Urgicare centers in the Bronx, including the high-need areas of Parkchester and Westchester Square, and locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Parkside, Queens. Make an appointment by visiting

In addition, the Test & Trace Corps provides testing at no cost to patients in the Bronx at three acute care centers, two Gotham Health community health centers, and more than 10 community testing sites and mobile units. Call 212-COVID19 to find the testing site nearest you.

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 42,000 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.

About Essen Health Care

Founded in 1999, Essen Health Care is a growing community healthcare network and group practice with 40 urgent, primary and specialty offices located throughout the Bronx. Essen employs more than 150 primary and specialty care physicians and 100+ advanced clinicians providing high quality, compassionate, and accessible medical care to over 150,0000 of the most vulnerable and under-served residents of New York State. Guided by a population health model of care, Essen has five integrated clinical divisions offering primary care, urgent care and specialty services, as well as nursing home staffing and care management. All clinical services are offered via telehealth, as well as through house calls for home bound seniors. Essen is dedicated to ensuring the quality of care for all patients and has been designated a ‘Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home’ by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.


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