New York City residents packed COVID-19 testing sites Sunday — ahead of traveling to visit family over Thanksgiving against the urging of officials.
At the CityMD on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, a 43-year-old IT specialist, Michael, waited with his 16-month-old daughter in the three-block, three-hour-long line, saying his wife has just spent more than two hours getting tested there.
“We’re going to her parents [in Brooklyn] on Thursday, and they’re 71 and 73, so it’s, you know, being responsible, doing what you can do,” said Michael, who lives in Park Slope, referring to his in-laws.
At another site in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, where the wait to get tested was at least four hours, Tom, a 52-year-old graphic designer with a wife and two kids, said the family is planning to go to Maryland to visit his 82-year-old mom.
“It’s OK if you do the testing,’’ the Clinton Hill resident said of traveling — although everyone from top federal infectious-disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have warned of the risks of traveling for the holiday.
“And you’re supposed to do the quarantining before and after, but I don’t know if I’m doing that,’’ Tom admitted. “I think people should just wear masks and wash their hands a lot.”
Cuomo said last month — as the state continues to battle a coronavirus resurgence — “My personal advice is you don’t have family gatherings, even for Thanksgiving.’’
Last week, the governor added the restriction of no more than 10 people at any gathering in a bid to curb the virus’s spread over the holiday.
Mayor de Blasio also has said, “I hate to say it, but I have to urge all New Yorkers — do not travel out of state for the holidays.’’
Fauci, 79, said his own three kids won’t be coming home and warned that what seem like “innocent’’ gatherings can be deadly for some.
Tom of Clinton Hill said he won’t travel if he tests positive for the coronavirus.
Meredith — a 26-year-old from Brooklyn Heights who was lined up at the Montague Street testing site and set to visit her older brother and his family in upstate Syracuse for Thanksgiving — said the same thing.
But Tom said it is “completely ridiculous’’ in general to think people shouldn’t gather for Thanksgiving this year.
“Some of my friends and colleagues are talking that way, but it’s BS!” he said.
“[Cuomo] doesn’t want [us] to gather for Thanksgiving, he’s not saying you can’t. It’s not a rule, that would be unconstitutional. That would be martial law!”
Still, “I’m not flying. I don’t think that’s a good idea at all,’’ Tom said. “On a plane, you take your mask off to eat and drink. I don’t understand that at all.”