Chaos: 13 Omicron Testing Clinics Close in NYC, NJ, Defying Biden’s Testing Site Expansion

People wait on line to get tested for COVID-19 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)
AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

Thirteen urgent care medical clinics closed in New York City and New Jersey on Wednesday, defying President Biden’s promise on Tuesday to expand omicron testing sites throughout the region.

CityMD, an urgent care medical clinic, which participates in testing New Jersey and New York state residents for coronavirus, has closed 13 clinics due to labor shortages fueled by the omicron variant.

“To preserve our ability to staff our sites, we are temporarily closing certain locations effective tomorrow, December 22. It is our hope that closing sites now will best allow us to avoid future closures as this surge continues,” the organization announced on their website.

The closures will take place in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Westchester, and New Jersey.

“Thank you for your patience, and for your appreciation of our hard-working teams who are coping with the extraordinary demand in the midst of the holiday season,” CityMD continued.

On Tuesday, Biden announced the federal government will construct additional testing sites in New York City due to the omicron chaos.

It is unknown how many testing sites Biden will erect. But with 13 private sites offline for the foreseeable future, the New York City region is already short 13 more sites than existed Tuesday.

“It’s the only responsible thing to do,” Biden said upon announcing the additional sites. “Omicron is serious and potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people.”

“I know you’re tired, and I know you’re frustrated. We all want this to be over. But we’re still in it,” Biden continued. “We also have more tools than we had before.”

About 43,000 individuals tested positive in NYC last week, “compared with fewer than 35,800 in the entire month of November,” the Associated Press reported.

Since coronavirus testing become available to the public, “the city has never had so many people test positive in such a short period of time.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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