Mount Vernon officials hand out 1,400 COVID-19 at-home test kits at City Hall Plaza

Mount Vernon residents lined up at City Hall Plaza on Christmas Eve for free at-home COVID-19 test kits that were provided by the state.
The CDC recommends everyone get a test before attending any holiday gatherings.
As the number of new COVID-19 cases rise at alarming rates, the 1,400 free test kits that were distributed to city residents came as welcome news.
The response drew lots of people, with lines winding down the street and around the corner at City Hall Plaza.
Some people, like Karen Callum, made sure to arrive early.
"I want one because I wasn't feeling well, and the lines were so long at the Urgent Care and I just wanted to test at home for me and my daughter," Callum says.
Long lines and hours long waits have plagued other test kit giveaways throughout the country.
However, the test kit giveaway in Mount Vernon saw lines that moved efficiently and quickly.
Many in line for kits say they saw the home test kits as an added layer of protection as they make plans to travel or welcome friends and family members during the holiday season.
"Today is a holiday for the city, we're closed, but our staff has shown up to volunteer and make sure that people can find out their status and enjoy their holiday and feel safe," Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard says.
The Village of Pleasantville also handed out test kits.
Village leaders posted to the town's Instagram page Friday, saying they received 400 kits from the county and will be distributing them directly to households starting next Monday.