New Yorkers get COVID-19 tests before Thanksgiving dinner

Green bean casserole and pumpkin pie is so pre-pandemic — these New Yorkers are bringing a negative COVID-19 test to Thanksgiving dinner.

City residents and visitors turned out in droves to get tested for the coronavirus before going to celebrate the holiday with family and friends on Thursday.

“New Thanksgiving tradition,” said an Upper West Sider who gave his name as Ben C., while getting a free rapid test at a local CityMD site ahead of seeing his in-laws.

He was one of 100 people to pass through the walk-in clinic on Broadway and West 70th Street before it closed at 1 p.m.. One woman who got there at 1:40 p.m. was in tears when she found the site shuttered.

Judy Corcollo, 59, was in town from Washington DC, to spend Thanksgiving with her family in the Big Apple.

“My siblings want to know and everyone is worried about my 85-year-old mother,” she said while awaiting her results.

Over at the ClearMD clinic just a block away, some 20 people had shelled out $45 each to get screened by 2:30 p.m., which was “above average,” for the location, a worker there said.

A sign outside of a hospital advertises COVID-19 testing on November 19, 2021 in New York City.
An Upper West Side resident dubbed the urgency to get tested COVID-19 as a “”New Thanksgiving tradition.”
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A woman in a fur coat, who gave her name as Kathy K., got a rapid test before heading across town to a friend’s dinner on the Upper East Side — and was thankful for the abundance of testing sites in her neighborhood.

“I know how privileged I am to have the ability to get a COVID test last minute today,” she said. “Others don’t have the same luxury in the city.”

Whitney Gold, 29, said her pregnant sister was requiring all guests to have a COVID vaccine and negative test in order to attend her Thanksgiving celebration in New Jersey.

“No one wants to get sick, especially put her and the baby at risk,” said Gold, who got a rapid test at ClearMD.

“A booster isn’t a requirement, thank God, since I couldn’t get an appointment in time,” she added.

A Lab Q Diagnostic mobile testing site parked on West 72nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue had some 100 people get a free rapid test before 1:30 p.m., lower than the 500 daily average it saw earlier in the week.

“We’re going to see Wicked tomorrow and my son only has one shot so it’s required,” said Jeff Galecke, 46, who was visiting the Big Apple from Boston with his 11-year-old son Andrew.

Tommy Liberto, known as 'Mr. Christmas Tree' from Bel Air, Maryland, poses with employees at a COVID-19 testing site on November 19, 2021.
Tommy Liberto, known as ‘Mr. Christmas Tree’ from Bel Air, Maryland, poses with employees at a COVID-19 testing site on November 19, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

“We’re here from Boston and have a tradition to go to a Mexican restaurant with the relatives in the city,” he said. “This is amazing so have mobile tests readily available.”

Additional reporting by Tamar Lapin