Lines for COVID-19 tests in Manhattan stretched for more than six hours Monday, as New Yorkers rushed to get checked ahead of Thanksgiving.
Outside a CityMD clinic on East 86th Street in the Upper East Side, the line stretched for three blocks, down First Avenue and onto East 85th Street, by early afternoon.
One local couple said they’d been waiting for six hours, part of it in the rain, since 6:45 am — and still had another hour to go.
“We’ve been taking turns going home to put more layers on and use the bathroom,” said John, 34, a tech worker waiting with his girlfriend.
“We’re getting the rapid results test,” he said. “We have to, we’re going to her parents house in New Jersey for Thanksgiving. Her mom is 65 and her dad is 63.”
Others weren’t so prepared for the long, chilly wait.
“I didn’t know it’d be this long,” said Jack, a 21-year-old student who showed up to the urgent care clinic at 11 a.m. — wearing shorts and flip flops.
“Someone is coming down with some pants,” he added.
He had just come from home Wake Forest University in North Carolina and said his mom was “making” him get tested before Turkey Day with his family.
“I’m doing the rapid test to get the negative results before Thanksgiving, we’re having relatives over,” the Upper East Side resident added. “She’s worried.”
The huge crowds lined up even as many medicals experts and officials advise people to stick to their immediate households for the celebration — and that they shouldn’t necessarily rely on a negative test result as a sign that they’re safe.
The Food and Drug Administration says rapid test results “are usually highly accurate, but false positives can happen, especially in areas where very few people have the virus.”
But that wasn’t going to stop California resident Sarabeth — who joined a six-hour-long line at outside another CityMD on West 88th Street after flying to the East Coast to share the holiday with her family in Connecticut.
“My family won’t let me anywhere near them without (a test),” Sarabeth, who works in real estate marketing, told the Post.
“I explained that I could test negative and have it, it doesn’t mean anything really. They don’t care. I’m not allowed in the house without one.”