Hochul rolling out COVID testing sites at two Manhattan subway stations next week

The state will open COVID-19 testing sites at two Manhattan subway stations next week, with more to come at five additional stops, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, Dec. 22.

The first two transit swabbing posts will open on Dec. 27 at Times Sq-42 St. station, operating 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and Grand Central Terminal from 3-8 p.m., the governor said.

“If you are someone who takes the subway trains, very good news we’re announcing today,” Hochul said at a briefing upstate. “Many places are having long lines, we’re trying to eradicate that by making it available right where people are, right where they commute and go into their offices in New York City.

The state-sponsored PCR tests will arrive at five more subway stations next week, but Hochul and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are still zeroing in on the locations. 

The agency also opened a handful of walk-in booster pop-up sites this week, offering a shot of the Moderna vaccine at the following three stations:

  • Times Square-42nd Street: through Friday, Dec. 31 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., except Christmas Day, Dec. 25
  • Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av/74 St.: until Thursday, Dec. 23, 3-8 p.m.
  • Grand Central Terminal: Dec. 27-30, 3-8 p.m.

“With the surge in recent cases due to the Omicron variant, we want to make sure that New Yorkers have the opportunity to get their booster shots as quickly and conveniently as possible, especially with the holidays right around the corner,” said acting MTA chief Janno Lieber in a statement.

The state logged another record-breaking 28,924 cases as of Tuesday, Dec. 21, however, hospitalizations were at 4,452, around two-thirds of the number of patients admitted this time last year, according to Hochul.

The governor reiterated that the surge was not a cause for panic, thanks to the wide availability of vaccines, and advised people traveling for the holidays to get their shot, get tested, and mask up. 

“We’re not saying don’t travel. Last year’s isolation was painful,” she said. “To all the families who want to be reunited there is no reason not to, just be smart — vaccines, boosters, mask — and when you’re thinking about who’s at your dinner table, think of the most vulnerable person and can you live with the guilt if something you did made them sick.”