As New Yorkers face increasingly long lines for COVID-19 tests, CityMD cuts hours

Posted On Fri, November 13, 2020 By

Posted On Fri, November 13, 2020 By In City Living

Photo by Billie Grace Ward via Wikimedia Commons

In an email to its customers today, CityMD acknowledged that “long lines are a daily fact at nearly every CityMD as we see a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the region.” They go on to say that their staff and doctors have been seeing patients well after closing time for months now, reaching “the point where they are sacrificing their own safety and health.” Therefore, all locations will begin closing 90 minutes earlier. These long lines have become a grim reminder for New Yorkers that a second wave seems imminent.

Noticing the long lines, Brooklyn-based cable network strategist Francine Ricchi started a Twitter account called CityMD Line Alert. The volunteer-led account shares photos in real-time of the line for the CityMD location at 457 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. (It’s similar to the Trader Joe’s and Target line-monitoring Twitter accounts we saw pop up at the beginning of the pandemic.)

According to Ricchi’s account, the line is often about 29 people. Similar reports have been popping up all over the city. On Tuesday, CBS reporter Kiran Dhillon shared a video via Twitter showing a three-hour wait at an Upper West Side CityMD location.

And it’s not just CityMD where getting a test is becoming a challenge. NYC Councilmember Mark Levine Tweeted this morning that there are zero appointments available at the Health Department’s rapid testing sites. (Others have reported good experiences for regular PCR tests at Health + Hospital locations, though these require an appointment.)

In their email, CityMD said:

…beginning Monday, November 16, we are adjusting the operating hours at all CityMD locations, closing 90 minutes earlier. Once a location is closed, we will not be able to add any new patients to the line but we will attempt to care for everyone who is in line at that point. In extreme cases, we may need to cut the line off earlier but this change is intended to help us avoid that.

The announcement comes on a day when NYC reached a positivity rate of 2.83 percent, causing Mayor de Blasio to tell parents schools could be closing as soon as Monday.

To find all the testing sites near you, visit the city’s interactive map.


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