Covid tests in short supply as Omicron rages across New York
As new cases of COVID-19 surge across the state and in the Hudson Valley, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are lining up to get COVID-19 tests.
State officials say nearly a quarter-million people have gotten tested across New York every day for the last week and the state broke its own daily infections record for a fourth straight day.
The demand for testing is high, but home testing kits that should be available in most pharmacies are now almost impossible to find.
Many are turning to testing sites like clinics, pharmacies, and urgent cares.
People began showing up outside the Urgent Care Center on South Broadway in Yonkers at 7 a.m. today and the line quickly grew to around the block. "Yesterday when I called, they had already shut everything down everywhere because they were so inundated. So come early," says Latoya Stann, of Yonkers.
With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise in the Hudson Valley and statewide, many are getting tested just to make sure they haven't been exposed. "Someone at work tested positive and everybody's vaccinated, but you still have to err on the side of caution," says Stann. "I am fully vaccinated but I just want to make sure everything is OK," Linvall Green.
Others tell News 12 they want to get checked out before gathering with friends and family for Christmas in a few days. "It's good to be prepared wishing for the best but be prepared for the worst," says Green.
Gov. Kathy Hochul is calling on the feds to invoke the Defense Protection Act to boost the at-home test supply.
The state also plans to send out 10 million home test kits statewide by mid-January. State officials say they hope to have that portal where you can order home kits up and running by the end of the week.
In addition, Hochul announced a plan where people could get a free test kit sent overnight, take a self-swab, send it back to the lab with free shipping and get results within 48 hours.
There is also talk of reopening those drive through test sites, like the one that was set up at Glen Island Park, as well as setting up testing at the Westchester County Center.