Cops called as crowd of New Yorkers clamour for at-home Covid tests

·1 min read
People form a large crowd as they attempt to receive COVID-19 testing kits from city workers distributing the kits along Flatbush Avenue on Christmas Eve (Getty Images)
People form a large crowd as they attempt to receive COVID-19 testing kits from city workers distributing the kits along Flatbush Avenue on Christmas Eve (Getty Images)

NYPD officers were called in after a crowd rushed city health officials as they handed out free at-home Covid-19 tests in Brooklyn on Friday.

Hundreds gathered on Flatbush and Church Avenues desperate to get their hands on the scarce testing kits amid surging demand as Covid cases spike in the city.

Crowds clamoured for the scarce testing kits in Brooklyn on Friday (Getty Images)
Crowds clamoured for the scarce testing kits in Brooklyn on Friday (Getty Images)
Police were called in to calm the crowd on Flatbush and Church Avenues (Getty Images)
Police were called in to calm the crowd on Flatbush and Church Avenues (Getty Images)

Tempers flared as New Yorkers frustrated by the lack of availability of at-home tests clamoured workers at the site, one of five locations where the tests were being given out.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city was opening more than 100 new testing sites in response to a massive spike in Covid cases in the city from the hyper-infectious Omicron variant.

“We’ve opened new city-run testing sites in all five boroughs and have been handing out at-home #COVID-19 tests to those waiting in line,” the outgoing mayor wrote on Twitter.

“Our teams are working tirelessly to get you what you need.”

The NYC Health System tweeted that many walk-in testing sites will be closed on Christmas Day.

New York state hit a new record of 38,835 cases on Thursday, 10,000 more than the previous day.

New Yorkers desperate to get their hands on the at-home Covid tests (Getty Images)
New Yorkers desperate to get their hands on the at-home Covid tests (Getty Images)
Drugstores have largely sold out of the at-home tests, amid an unprecedented spike in Covid cases (Getty Images)
Drugstores have largely sold out of the at-home tests, amid an unprecedented spike in Covid cases (Getty Images)

Drugstores across New York have run out of the kits, and people have reported four-hour waits at the makeshift testing sites this week.

President Joe Biden has pledged to distribute hundreds of millions of free Covid-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts have not come in time for the holidays.

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