NYC Test & Trace Corps Launches Digital Video Series On Safe Living In The Time Of COVID

February 2, 2021

As critical developments around COVID-19 happen at a whirlwind pace.

The NYC Test & Trace Corps announces the launch of a new digital video series, “NYC, Let’s Talk COVID!”, to present the latest public health information in an easily digestible format to help New Yorkers stay engaged and cope during the pandemic.

Premiering online today, the first-of-its-kind series will feature the City’s top public health experts interviewed about timely issues and answering direct questions from everyday New Yorkers, facilitated by a host and correspondents from the world of improv performance.

The series is part of the Test & Trace Corps’ ongoing efforts to educate New Yorkers about living safely in the time of COVID-19.

“NYC, Let’s Talk COVID!” will premiere on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. EST, on

“With the amount of new information that constantly becomes available about COVID-19, New Yorkers need a trusted source to help them sort through the sea of headlines and get to the information that is most relevant and useful for their daily lives,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “We are excited to launch this new digital video series that leverages the world-class resource of our City’s public health experts to help New Yorkers and their loved ones stay safe with reliable and timely information delivered in an innovative way.”

“NYC, Let’s Talk COVID!” is hosted by actor Matt Richards with street reporting from correspondents Milly Tamarez and Lida Darmian, who will go into neighborhoods to talk with real New Yorkers and share their questions with the expert guests. A native of Queens, Richards currently hosts the popular game show app, HQ Trivia, and has appeared on networks such as CBS, Nickelodeon, Disney, E! and more. Work by Tamarez and Darmian has previously been featured on HBO, Buzzfeed, and VICE.

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In the debut episode, Richards interviews Dr. Jay Varma, Senior Advisor for Public Health in the Mayor’s Office, to give New Yorkers the latest updates on COVID-19 testing and what to expect, advice on how to stay safe during the winter surge of the virus, and counter misinformation with scientific facts.

The episode also features street talk with New Yorkers who share personal experiences and ask Dr. Varma practical and candid questions about the virus.

The “NYC, Let’s Talk About COVID!” series will consist of six 15-20-minute episodes, each of which will be individually shareable.

Topics to be covered include types of testing and how to prepare for a test, vaccine science and distribution, the ins and outs of contact tracing, isolation and quarantine tips, advice on mental health and navigating intimate relationships, how to safely return to the workplace, travel, and more.

“There is nothing more important to our economic recovery than our health, and central to our health is our ability to deliver clear information to everyday New Yorkers,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We’re thrilled this new digital series will help all New Yorkers stay informed with expertise from public health leaders. As we build on New York City’s leadership in pandemic response, we’re laying the foundation to ensure that our City is safer and stronger for generations to come.”

“One of the biggest challenges of COVID is uncertainty and a feeling of powerlessness. This digital video series seeks to educate and inform New Yorkers about the powers each of us has to fight COVID,” said Dr. Jay Varma, Senior Advisor for Public Health in the NYC Mayor’s Office. Wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, washing hands, getting tested regularly, and getting vaccinated when our turn in line comes up – these are actions we can take to reduce the risk of COVID to ourselves and our community.”

“The landscape of information around COVID-19 is always evolving, and when it comes to staying safe from the virus, timely and accurate guidance can empower every New Yorker to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Dr. Amanda Johnson, Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps Take Care Program. “This new digital video series will help us reach audiences in a creative way with practical tips and life-saving information.”

Preview the new digital video series, “NYC, Let’s Talk COVID!” here:

The Test & Trace Corps is the City’s comprehensive effort to test, trace, and provide support for every case of COVID-19.

Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Test & Trace Corps allows the City to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone who may have been exposed.

To help all New Yorkers safely separate at home and monitor their health status, the Take Care pillar of the Test & Trace Corps also offers free hotel rooms with wraparound services for New Yorkers who are unable to safely separate in their own homes.

For those safely separating at home, contact tracers perform daily calls and conduct in-person visits as necessary.

These calls allow tracers to gauge the progress of cases, ensure proper compliance with separation protocol, and connect people to more supportive services as necessary.

Today, 98% of all COVID-19 cases and 96% of contacts reported following isolation and quarantine requirements.

Today, 98% of all COVID-19 cases and 96% of contacts reported following isolation and quarantine requirements.

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.

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.

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