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NYC Daily Roundup 12/21: City opens more COVID-19 testing sites, NYPD distributes gifts across boroughs & more news

Anthony Payero

By Anthony Payero

(NEW YORK) Welcome back, fellow New Yorkers! Today is Tuesday, Dec. 21, and it is the first day of winter!

Today's temperatures will peak at 45°F in the afternoon, dropping back into the high-30s after the sunset at 4:31 p.m.

As for the news, here's what you need to know this Tuesday:

1.) New COVID-19 testing sites open due to spread of omicron variant

City officials are ramping up their efforts to stop the omicron variant by opening more COVID-19 testing sites across the five boroughs. The city opened eight new brick-and-mortar locations for testing on Tuesday, along with 17 mobile trucks that will travel across the boroughs.

"Getting tested is absolutely crucial, and making sure we have enough sites, enough resources, enough test kits," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We're working on all these fronts. Not a surprise, we are finding supplies are becoming a challenge because all over the country testing is going up suddenly."

2.) New York City Police Department hands out gifts across the city

The NYPD traveled through the boroughs to distribute gifts among the city's youth this week. Participating officers delivered an estimated 4,500 gifts in one day, per AMNY.

“Today is our third day of operation sleigh ride. It’s Chief Maddrey’s of Community Affairs signature piece. It’s how we bring cheer and toys out to the communities throughout the city that are in need,” said Inspector Max Tolentino, the Executive Officer of Community Affairs. 

“You have to see the faces of some of the kids that are out there. They are absolutely impressed, and they absolutely enjoy the moment, and so do we. At the end of the day, it is just about the spirit of the holiday and what better way than to go to a neighborhood where a kid has an opportunity to get a toy for Christmas,” Tolentino said.

3.) New York Mets introduce Buck Showalter as manager for 2022 season

The New York Mets named Buck Showalter as their next manager on Monday. The team shared pictures of the skipper on Twitter, with a formal presentation to be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Showalter last coached the Baltimore Orioles, with his tenure there ending in 2018.

“This is a significant day for the organization,” said general manager Billy Eppler. “Buck is one of the most experienced and accomplished managers in the game. He is the perfect baseball mind to lead this team and usher in the next era of Mets baseball. I look forward to working closely with him in the years to come.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity and a great responsibility to represent this organization, all Mets fans and this city," Showalter said in a statement. "I’m energized and eager to get started.”

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