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Mung bean casserole and pumpkin pie were like this before the pandemic—these New Yorkers brought negative COVID-19 tests at Thanksgiving dinner.
Before celebrating the holiday with family and friends on Thursday, city residents and tourists were tested for coronavirus in droves.
"New Thanksgiving tradition," said an Upper West Side native who calls himself Ben C., and can only meet his in-laws after receiving a free quick test at the local CityMD site.
He was one of 100 people who passed by the walk-in clinics on Broadway and West 70th Street before closing at 1pm. A woman who arrived there at 1:40 pm burst into tears when she discovered that the site had been closed.
Judy Corcollo, 59, came to town from Washington DC to spend Thanksgiving with her family at the Big Apple.
"My brothers and sisters want to know that everyone is worried about my 85-year-old mother," she said while waiting for the results.
A staff member there said that at the ClearMD clinic one block away, about 20 people paid $45 each to be screened by 2:30 pm, which is "above average" for the location.
A lady in a fur coat named Kathy K. took a quick test before traveling across town to a friend's dinner in the Upper East Side-and thanked her for the large number of test sites nearby.
She said: "I know how honored I am to be able to take a COVID test at the last minute of today." "Others don't have the same luxury in this city."
Whitney Gold, 29, said her pregnant sister requires all guests to be vaccinated and tested negative for COVID in order to participate in her Thanksgiving celebrations in New Jersey.
"No one wants to get sick, especially to put her and the baby at risk," said Gold, who was quickly tested at ClearMD.
"Thank God, I don't need a booster because I can't make an appointment in time," she added.
Approximately 100 people at the Lab Q diagnostic mobile test site parked on West 72nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue received a free quick test before 1:30 pm, which is lower than the average of 500 people per day earlier this week.
"We are going to see Wicked tomorrow. My son has only one chance, so this is a must," said 46-year-old Jeff Galecke, who visited the Big Apple from Boston with his 11-year-old son Andrew.
"We came here from Boston and there is a tradition of going to Mexican restaurants with relatives in the city," he said. "This is great, so mobile testing is always available."
Additional reporting by Tamar Lapin