New Yorkers stood for hours in long lines to be tested for the coronavirus on Friday, a disturbing indicator that shows the basic public health challenges that the country still faces many months after the pandemic first hit.
People waited for tests they needed for work or school. Some feared they might have gotten sick after flouting social distancing while celebrating after the election. Others hoped to safely visit family on Thanksgiving, which suggested that the problem might only worsen over the coming holidays. And some, dissuaded by the prospect of lingering on sidewalks for more than three hours in the rain, walked away untested.
“It’s so frustrating,” said City Councilman Mark Levine of Manhattan, who chairs the council’s Health Committee. “We keep hitting new problems in tests. We solve one and another pops up.”
The lines underscore how a second wave of the virus is threatening New York City, and come as the rest of the country confronts record numbers of new cases — more than 160,000 nationally on Thursday. Several governors have warned that they are seriously considering further restrictions in a last-ditch effort to curb the outbreak.