New Yorkers Get COVID-19 Tests Before Thanksgiving Dinner

A casserole of green beans and pumpkin pie is so pre-pandemic — these New Yorkers are bringing a negative COVID-19 test to Thanksgiving dinner.

City dwellers and visitors gathered in droves to be tested for the coronavirus before celebrating the holiday with family and friends on Thursday.

“New Thanksgiving tradition,” said an Upper West Sider who gave his name as Ben C., getting a free quick test at a local CityMD site before meeting his in-laws.

He was one of 100 people who passed through the walk-in clinic on Broadway and West 70th Street before it closed at 1 p.m. A woman who arrived there at 1:40 PM was in tears when she found the site had closed.

Judy Corcollo, 59, was in town from Washington DC to spend Thanksgiving with her family in the Big Apple.

“My siblings want to know and everyone is concerned about my 85-year-old mother,” she said as she waited for her results.

At the ClearMD clinic, one block away, about 20 people had spent $45 each to get screened by 2:30 p.m., which was “above average” for the location, an employee there said.

An Upper West Side resident called the urgency of getting tested for COVID-19 a “new Thanksgiving tradition.”
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A woman in a fur coat, who gave her name as Kathy K., got a quick test before going across town to a friend’s dinner on the Upper East Side — and was thankful for the abundance of testing sites in her neighborhood.

“I know how privileged I am to have a last minute COVID test today,” she said. “Others don’t have the same luxury in the city.”

Whitney Gold, 29, said her pregnant sister demanded a COVID vaccine and negative test from all guests to attend her Thanksgiving celebration in New Jersey.

“Nobody wants to get sick, especially putting her and the baby at risk,” said Gold, who got a rapid test at ClearMD.

“A booster is not a requirement, thank goodness, because I couldn’t get an appointment on time,” she added.

At a Lab Q Diagnostic mobile test site parked on West 72nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, some 100 people received a free rapid test before 1:30 p.m., lower than the daily average of 500 earlier in the week.

“We’re going to Wicked tomorrow and my son only has one chance so it’s necessary,” said Jeff Galecke, 46, who visited the Big Apple from Boston with his 11-year-old son Andrew.

Tommy Liberto, known as 'Mr.  Christmas Tree
Tommy Liberto, known as ‘Mr. Christmas Tree” of Bel Air, Maryland, poses with employees at a COVID-19 test site on November 19, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

“We’re from Boston and have a tradition of going to a Mexican restaurant with relatives in town,” he said. “This is great, so make sure mobile testing is readily available.”

Additional reporting by Tamar Lapin

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