Photos: New York is rattled by a stunning virus spike

Just a few weeks ago, New York seemed to be a relative bright spot in the fight against the US coronavirus. Now it’s a hotspot, faced with a staggering increase in cases, a scramble for testing, a dilemma over a major event, and an exhausting sense of deja vu.

An omicron wave of cases is sweeping the country’s most populous city, which served as the country’s nightmarish test case at the start of the pandemic. While health officials say there are important reasons why it’s not spring 2020 again, some Broadway shows have abruptly canceled performances, a mandate for indoor face masks is back and testing is hard to come by.

With temperatures hovering around freezing, Nina Clark entered the series of tests for the third time since her symptoms began on Thursday. Once again she walked away.

A COVID-19 testing site in Times Square.

A COVID-19 testing site in Times Square.

(Ed Jones / AFP Getty Images)

“I stood there in the cold and said, ‘I can’t do this,'” she said. “Everywhere you go there’s a line.”

As officials and health experts urged people to get not just tests but vaccine boosters, an hour-long line formed for both at a privately owned pharmacy in Lower Manhattan.

After closing some test centers last month due to lack of demand and in favor of pop-up test cars, the city is trying to expand capacity again. The 130,000 daily tests at city-sponsored sites are already double what they were three weeks ago, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city would add 20 permanent sites and three vans this week. There are also plans to distribute 500,000 home testing kits.

There is a 2022 sign in Times Square

Crowds will fill Times Square again this New Year’s Eve, with proof of vaccinations required for revelers, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

(Seth Little / Associated Press)

Radio City Music Hall in New York

Radio City Music Hall, where the Rockettes’ performance was canceled.

(Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press)

People talk to Radio City Music Hall staff member

People speak to an employee at Radio City Music Hall after the Rockettes’ performance was canceled.

(Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press)

People cross a street in New York

New York State on Saturday announced a record number of daily COVID cases for the second straight day.

(Ed Jones / AFP Getty Images)

A man adjusts his face mask in New York.

A man adjusts his face mask in New York.

(Ed Jones / AFP Getty Images)

A photo wall in Times Square

A photo wall in Times Square.

(Rob Kim/Getty Images)

A test site in Times Square

A test site in Times Square.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-20/photos-nyc-is-rattled-by-a-stunning-virus-spike Photos: New York is rattled by a stunning virus spike

Russell Falcon

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