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PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021

Auckland Central...
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8 posts
PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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Hello,

Just came back from NYC and wanted to share our experience with PCR tests, which is a common concern.

There are a lot of free PCR tests available, especially in the tourist areas. In order to be sure we get our test result in time, we did 5 PCR tests on one day, and another 3 the following day.

Most reliable: LabQ van (parked on 8/42 St. On daily basis until 4pm, except Saturdays) and CTS Vans (2 vans parked on Times Square. Until 1am on daily basis.)

Turnaround time; 24 - 30 hours

All vans will send results via email, however, some of the reports had a wrong testing time (+/- 3 hours) or no passport number on it, which can be an issue for some airlines. CTS reports don’t have QR code, labQ ones do.

Registration for most testing vans is via QR code, so internet connection will be helpful. CTS vans will do the registration via their iPads, so no need to have internet there.

Hope that helps! Enjoy NYC everyone!

10 replies to this topic
Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
7,393 posts
108 reviews
94 helpful votes
1. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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You do know that although the test is free for you it does cost money to do 8 different tests just for research purposes, especially since you can call the companies, they will tell you where they are located, if they charge money and how long before your trip you have to get tested to make sure you have your tests results.

You could also have asked this forum for first hand experience and I am sure someone, like myself, would've answered your question.

The free tests is something that the US is doing for their residents and the tourists which, quite honestly, is a nice thing for them to offer as not every country does. If too many people do what you do, tourists may have to start paying for their tests.

Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
31,491 posts
2. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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Any facilities you considered unreliable?

(Eight tests at US taxpayer expense seems a bit much.)

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
8 posts
3. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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Thank you for your responses.

Yes, maybe it is excessive, yet what is even more excessive are the prices that NYC charges for tests in clinics. A lot of clinics have a turn around time of 3-5 days and rapid PCR testing is available at 300 USD+ depending on the provider you go to.

The highest quote I received was 750 USD for 6 hours processing. To put this in comparison, in most of the world you get this service for 50 USD maximum.

I received reports from all providers, yet keep in mind that all of them use different labs, even if the testing van may be from the same company.

I have spend 3.5 weeks in the USA, and spent quite a bit of money, incl. various weird taxes, so apologies for being selfish and try to take advantage of free offerings and not think of the taxpayer.

Turnaround time answer will always be “24-72 hours’ when you ask…

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
8 posts
4. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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I rather stick to highlighting the ones that worked for me: LabQ (8/42 St) and CTS on Times Square

Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
31,491 posts
5. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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So no specific places you recommend avoiding?

You, luckily, apparently don't have any previous experience with the cost of US medical care

Hopefully you will be similarly generous about tourists to your country (if/when they reopen your borders to visitors)

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
8 posts
6. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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No, I don’t have any specific places to avoid, as all places were professional, safe and delivered results. As mentioned earlier, some had slight variances in time of sample taken, which can be an issue if you need a PCR tests with 48 hr. validity (48 hrs. before boarding the last flight to your final destination).

I will refrain from commenting on the approach of NZ towards border opening, but rather appreciate the many countries that offer free and/ or affordable prices for PCR tests. And yes, I even appreciate more the fact that I did not need to experience the USA medical system.

Chicago
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11,676 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
7. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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Great so because you deemed paying for fast tests to be too expensive, instead the taxpayers paid for eight tests….

I am firmly of the opinion that any tests for travel should be at the travelers expense. I believe the NHS in the UK specifically states that their tests may not be used for travel.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
7,393 posts
108 reviews
94 helpful votes
8. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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Warriorjan I partially agree with you as for the travellers paying for their own tests which is what is being done in Quebec where I had to pay my test to take a flight to New York in August. However, there is a slight issue here, if I travel to Ontario, another province in Canada, there is no border to take and it is quite feasible by car, so I am a traveller but do not require a test. The same can be said for someone travelling by car from Washington DC to New York.

I am going back in November, I will not be required to test before I take the bus to the US, but will be required to get tested before going back to Canada.

I do agree with you wholeheartedly with the fact that the OP taking 8 tests paid by the taxpayers was a bit much and quite unnecessary. When I go to New York, even if I had the opportunity, as he did, to be there for 3.5 weeks, I would have much better things to do with my time than to be tested 8 times.

I was able to find information online and one chat within 30 minutes for costs ranging from $150 to $250 and the free one that I found from LabQ with results promised in 36 hours. It cost me 30 minutes of my time and except for the one (1) test I took which was not for research, my own research was at no cost to the taxpayers who welcome me in their city where I do spend money on food, gifts, tips and taxes.

USA
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22,394 posts
27 reviews
21 helpful votes
9. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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***(Eight tests at US taxpayer expense seems a bit much.)***

These tests are not free, we are paying for them.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
7,393 posts
108 reviews
94 helpful votes
10. Re: PCR Test experience, Oct. 2021
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That's exactly my point springerandy, they are offered for free but someone is paying for the employees, for the tests themselves and the employees that do the results and the ones that send the results. For anyone to not realize that these tests are paid for the local taxpayers need to get more informed before improvising themselves as testers for a service.

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