covid testing

Need a COVID Test? 13 New NY Sites Open as Omicron Fuels Frantic Demand

Additional sites will soon open as New Yorkers rush to get tested post-Christmas and before New Year's

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New York state launches more than a dozen new COVID-19 testing sites Wednesday in almost all 10 regions amid an omicron surge that has generated record cases on a near-daily basis (and record testing) over the last two weeks.

Appointments opened Monday for the sites now just opening their doors and vanished almost immediately. They're filled in New York City and on Long Island through Sunday, but all 13 sites accept walk-ins for those willing to wait potentially hours on line. See the full list of locations at the bottom of this page or learn more.

More sites run by the city are expected to open later this week, while federal mega-sites are planned. Localized pop-up efforts also continue amid of crush of testing demand so intense people have been seen literally climbing over to snare free at-home kit.

Omicron in NYC

The fuel for the ever-increasing demand is no secret. According to the latest state data, nearly 40,000 people tested positive in New York City just yesterday. The city says the number of people admitted to the hospital for COVID-like illnesses on Monday was 396, up 20% from Sunday.

But the grim numbers don't stop there. There's been a 10-fold increase in transmission across the city. The hospitalization rate -- the seven-day average of NYC residents per 100,000 who are in a hospital with COVID -- doubled in the last five days.

About 2,012 of every 100,000 Manhattan residents tested positive in the last seven days, according to the latest transmission data posted by the city. The rate across all five boroughs is 1,742 per 100,000. Most omicron-linked cases are mild compared with cases associated with delta, particularly for vaccinated and boosted New Yorkers. For those who aren't yet vaccinated, the outcomes are different.

The spike has led to increased hospitalizations in New York City and state among unvaccinated individuals and children, and staffing shortages in the medical and transit industries --- affecting not only airlines but NJ Transit and the MTA.

Statewide, COVID hospitalizations topped 6,700 on Wednesday, as Gov. Kathy Hochul reported nearly 1,500 new admissions. The total hasn't been that high since mid-to-late February, state data shows.

More than 950 people are in ICUs with COVID and almost two dozen hospitals, mostly upstate, still have elective procedures paused to preserve bed capacity.

Omicron has fueled unprecedented daily infections across the U.S. as well. America set a record seven-day case average on Tuesday, according to NBC News data.

The average of 262,034 daily cases eclipsed the former record set on Jan. 11 of 252,776 new cases a day.

The variant, the first local case of which was reported on Dec. 2, accounted for 73.3% of genetically sequenced positive New York COVID samples uploaded to GISAID, the world's largest repository of COVID-19 sequences, over the last two weeks. That's up from about 66% a day ago, 11.1% in the two-week period ending Dec. 18 and from 2.2% in the two-week period before that, state data shows.

CDC data for the latest two weeks says omicron could account for anywhere from 70% to 97% of current infections in the New York area for the week ending Dec. 25. Nationally, the prevalence is estimated to be as high as 74%, the agency says.

List: 13 New NY Testing Locations Open Wednesday

New York City

Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building
163 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Central Family Life Center
59 Wright Street
Staten Island, NY 10304
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Concourse Village Community Center
777 Concourse Village East
Bronx, NY 10451
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Kings Plaza Mall
5100 Kings Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

York College Performing Arts Center
94-45 Guy R Brewer Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11451
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The severity of omicron is taking its toll, generating record-breaking case increases as cities from coast to coast scramble to try and slow the spread. NBC News' Liz McLaughlin has the latest from the head of the CDC on the incubation period and more.

Long Island

IBEW Local 25
370 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Kennedy Memorial Park
335 Greenwich Street
Hempstead, NY 11550
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m

Central New York

Moravia Fire Department
38 Keeler Street
Moravia, NY 13118
Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Finger Lakes

SUNY Genesee Community College
Albion Campus Center
456 West Avenue
Albion, NY 14411
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Mohawk Valley

American Legion Post
86 West Main Street
Milford, NY 13807
Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m

North Country

Citizens Advocates
324 Creighton Road
Malone, NY 12953
Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Maple Ridge Center
7421 East Road
Lowville, NY 13367
Hours of Operation: Monday and Wednesdays: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Fridays: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Southern Tier

Watkins Glen State Park Gift Shop/The Glen Café
1009 North Franklin Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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