New York City Ups COVID Testing Amid State’s Record Case Surge, De Blasio Tries To Avoid Shutdown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As vacation gatherings draw close to, New York City is pushing to cease the unfold of COVID-19 as record case numbers are reported and contours at testing facilities get longer.

Amid the surge, Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned Monday he’s attempting to keep away from shutdowns within the metropolis by growing the variety of testing facilities, CBS2’s John Dias reported.

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New York reported its fourth consecutive day of file instances — greater than 23,000 folks examined optimistic statewide.

It was an indication of the occasions in Times Square, the place lengthy strains fashioned even earlier than a pop-up testing website opened.

A vacationer arrived an hour early and was first in line. Monika Maneova wished to verify she might fly residence to Prague on Tuesday.

“You have to have the test and if you don’t have, you don’t fly,” Maneova mentioned.

Some mentioned they waited within the chilly for hours.

“We need the test so we line up as long as it takes,” mentioned Hartmut Pitchmann from Germany.

“Three of our friends in the past couple days have tested positive,” mentioned Talia Fossum-Wernick of Harlem.

FIND TESTING SITES: Click here for New York City’s testing site locator, together with cell websites and at-home appointments

AVOID THE LINES: Click here for NYC Health+Hospitals testing wait times

Fossum-Wernick and her roommate, Ella Leh, had been double-masked whereas ready to get examined. Leh needed to cancel her household’s Christmas journey from Colorado.

“We discovered we had publicity and so they had been like, ‘Yeah nope, absolutely not,’” said Leh, whose Christmas plans are now up in the air.

“I certainly don’t know, possibly do a puzzle,” she mentioned.

“Plan your holidays around your most vulnerable family member. That may mean hosting a virtual gathering, or moving activities outdoors or using masks, same-day tests and distancing,” mentioned New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

Watch Mayor De Blasio’s Monday COVID Briefing

Additional testing websites at settings like colleges and libraries will probably be popping up. The metropolis will ship supervisors to verify issues run easily at these websites and personal ones, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

READ MORE: Increase In COVID-19 Positive Tests Compels NHL To Shut Down Operations From Wednesday Through Saturday

The speedy unfold of the Omicron variant has created what the town calls an “extraordinary” improve in demand for testing.

“It is the fastest, fittest and most formidable version of the virus that we have seen thus far,” mentioned Chokshi.

“We are now testing, in fact, more people than ever, 130,000 plus daily in the city sites,” mentioned de Blasio.

That’s double the variety of checks executed three weeks in the past.

New York City has 89 testing websites in all 5 boroughs. It’s including 23 extra this week.

Free lodge rooms can be found to eligible New Yorkers who check optimistic for COVID-19.

De Blasio mentioned he’d wish to get extra at-home checks out, however pointed to a provide subject. Gov. Kathy Hochul mentioned a portal ought to be up and operating quickly, permitting New Yorkers to order residence testing kits.

“We just had an arrival of 1 million testing kits. We have another million coming next week,” Hochul mentioned.

Of late, Manhattan has had the best positivity charge among the many 5 boroughs. Officials mentioned that’s partly due to elevated testing there.

Health officers proceed to say the perfect safety is vaccination, together with a booster shot.

“You either won’t get infected or if you do get an infection, it will be most likely mild. But if you are unvaccinated, I’m worried about you. I’m worried that your risk of being hospitalized or, God forbid, losing your life to this virus is quite significant,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy instructed CBS Mornings.


Murthy mentioned hospitalizations ought to quantify the severity of the surge.

“The most important metrics, for sure, are whether we are saving lives and keeping people out of the hospital,” he mentioned. “No vaccine is perfect, especially against a foe like Omicron, but those infections are much more likely to be mild, compared to somebody whose not boosted or vaccinated who have a greater chance of ending up in the hospital.”

“All of our hospitals have plans for how we will expand. We worked on it all weekend. We’re doing fine right now,” mentioned Dr. Mitch Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.

The metropolis implemented a pair of new vaccine mandates Monday. Employees of personal and spiritual colleges should have obtained a minimum of their first dose of a COVID vaccine by now. Others working in little one care should even be vaccinated.

MORE NEWS: Sources: Mayor-Elect Eric Adams Considering Nixing Swearing-In Ceremony In Brooklyn Due To Spike In COVID-19 Cases

CBS2’s John Dias and Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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