COVID concerns high as students return to school, workers to offices with end of holidays

Local News

NEW YORK — Lines for COVID-19 testing were on multiple corners at West 72nd and Broadway Sunday. 

As holiday vacations wrapped up and students planned to return to school, New Yorkers waited in testing lines across the city Sunday.

“I had a bunch of exposures over the past couple days, and I have a little bit of an itchy throat so just to be safe, I am going to get tested,” New Yorker Rebecca Kurtzman said.

More than one million New York City students are expected to return to the classroom this week with increased testing.

And while Mayor Eric Adams does not have the authority, he said Sunday “I think testing should be mandatory. So important, would give us a lot of power to determine who’s exposed. Mandatory vaccination, I think we should scale up to that.”

Some New York and New Jersey school districts planned to start the new year virtually as the omicron variant surge continued. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted pictures Sunday of COVID-19 tests being loaded onto a plane bound for New York. 

“There is just not enough testing to go around. And everyone wants to be safe and protect everyone and we just need more testing,” Kurtzman said as she waited in line.

On Sunday, New York State reported 62,526 new positive COVID-19 tests.

Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly lobbied the federal government for the state’s fair share of newly approved antiviral pills that are expected to keep people out of the hospital. He noted that Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir were recently approved and said the federal government hasn’t “…come up with a plan as how they are going to distribute them yet and we want to make sure New York is at the very very top of the list because we have the greatest need.”

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the CDC is considering a negative COVID test as part of its newly recommended shortened five-day isolation period.

According to the office of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the First Lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy tested positive for COVID-19. The governor remained negative, but the family will continue to test.

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