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NYC Daily Roundup 12/23: Where to find at-home COVID-19 test kits, omicron variant affects businesses & more news

Anthony Payero

By Anthony Payero

(NEW YORK) Happy Thursday, fellow New Yorkers! This is the New York City Daily Roundup, the best way to catch the latest happenings from across the five boroughs. Today is Dec. 23, and Christmas is just a couple of days away!

Here's the news you need to know this Thursday:

1.) At-home test kits distributed across the city as federal COVID-19 test sites open

As the omicron variant continues to rear its head around New York City, officials have ramped up efforts to make testing easier by handing out COVID-19 at-home testing kits at select places listed in Mayor Bill de Blasio's tweet. The mayor reported 11,000 new cases in the city on Wednesday, a new single-day record.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined the mayor's daily briefing Wednesday to share his plea for federal help.

“I’m sending a letter to FEMA today,” he said, displaying it at the mayor’s press briefing Wednesday, “asking them for a hundred new mobile testing locations. We need these locations across the city. Now, today, they said, they’re sending six, that is not close to enough, given the magnitude of the crisis and what we need. “

2.) Businesses reconsider reopening after holidays due to omicron

It's normal for businesses to shut for the holidays, but due to the daily increase in omicron cases, some businesses may not be returning to the offices after all.

"It's a huge impact," one worker said. "No one is coming into the office, people feel very uncertain about what's coming up."

"I think everyone, including the businesses, employers and employees, are feeling very discouraged and very anxious about this new COVID surge," said Kathryn Wylde, with Partnership for NYC.

"Our latest survey at the end of October said they expected that 50% of the office workers would be back in the office by the end of January," Wylde said. "Now, all that is reversed."

3.) New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh sidelined with COVID-19

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh joins a long list of Jets out of action due to COVID-19 after he tested positive on Wednesday, the team announced. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton held a practice Wednesday and will serve as interim head coach until Saleh clears protocols.

"I'm not reinventing the wheel here," Middleton said after practice. "I'm just trying to steer the ship, keep the ship steered in the right direction. So far, no issues. Hopefully, it stays like that."

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