Before visiting family in Maryland for the weekend, Emma Voorhes got a COVID-19 test at the city-run testing site in Woodside.
"One of them has a health concern, so we are just all being safe," she said. "I am half vaccinated, but just wanted to make sure everyone is safe."
Voorhes says she has been getting tested once about every two weeks and has seen the wait times get shorter and shorter.
Dr. Eric Ascher, a doctor of family medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, says lines are shorter because fewer people are getting infected with the virus.
"Realistically, the increase in testing has also helped that because we have found that people who are asymptomatic who were going to visit family or friends or to a wedding, they are not going because they are coming back testing positive, so they are avoiding the potential to infect other people," Ascher said. "So cases are absolutely going down."
For the last week, the city's seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate has been hovering just above 5 percent, some of the lowest rate in several months.
City health officials have said the goal is to get below the 5 percent threshold.
Dr. David Reich, president of The Mount Sinai Hospital, says getting to that point could mean a more normal summer.
"With positivity rates that low in the face of vaccinations hitting a higher proportion of our population, it really is possible that we can start to open up more," he said.
Both Reich and Ascher agree the city is at a critical point in the pandemic with variants beginning to spread.
"If we don't continue vaccinating at a relatively high rate or if we slow down because of either lack of supply or because of hesitancy in our population we take the risk that the variants which have become more prevalent will lead to more transmission,” Reich said.
Health officials say now is not the time for pandemic fatigue and that getting vaccinated is the quickest way back to normal.
"This data should serve as reinforcement and motivation for more folks out there to get vaccinated knowing we are going to see a decrease in cases see and increase in safety and that is what it is all about,” said Dr. Ascher.
While the city's COVID-19 numbers have seen improvement, New York is still listed as one of the highest COVID-19 risk states in the country.