Only an hour after opening, the line outside the COVID-19 testing center on Northern Boulevard was wrapped around the corner.
“It’s crazy, but you have to do it no matter what. You have to get tested to make sure you’re good,” said Jose Maca, a Jackson Heights resident who was among those in the line.
Not far away, at the CityMD in Jackson Heights, the line was even longer and nearly circled the entire block.
“It’s crazy, and I don’t get why there is such a long line,” said Adrian Dotabo of the line at CityMD.
People were also lined up outside NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst on Monday trying to get a COVID-19 test.
“Right now, I've been here over an hour and 15 minutes and probably another 45 minutes to go,” said Edwin Riveria as he waited in line at NYC Health + Hospitals - Elmhurst.
The lines, however, were in contrast to the latest information from Governor Andrew Cuomo. During a press conference on Monday, he reported that COVID-19 testing across the state had drastically decreased after Christmas.
His office planned to investigate the reason for the decline but already had one theory.
“Anyone who went and got tested post-Christmas over the weekend was a person who was showing symptoms and thought they might be positive and therefore they went for a test,” said Cuomo.
That wasn’t the case for those who spoke with NY1. Out of more than 100 people asked at three different testing locations, only one had traveled recently, and he was getting tested to ensure he was in compliance with state guidelines.
“I had to take a COVID test three days prior to my flight and I have to have a certificate. Then I had to file the New York forms,” said “Herve,“ who was visiting NYC from Canada.
The majority of people who spoke with NY1 for this story said they’d actually followed the guidance of local officials and celebrated Christmas at home and only with immediate family. Many cited their own piece of mind as the reason they were seeking out a test.
“I just want to make sure that i dont have the virus,” said Woodhaven resident George Vilca.
Testing will continue during regular business hours on Tuesday and Wednesday at testing centers across the city. On Thursday, most testing centers will close early for New Year’s Eve and then will be closed on New Year’s Day.