Free at-home COVID tests now available at NYC cultural sites, libraries

COVID-19 Update for New York City
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City is beefing up its push to get more people tested for and vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as working to help small businesses get a boost in their receipts.

The city is handing out free at-home testing kits across the five boroughs, which can be picked at landmark cultural sites like the American Museum of Natural History.

In fact, there are 14 landmark city cultural sites and 27 branches of the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library where weekly walk-up distributions began Monday.

"We need it, we need it in this community," library manager Virginia Quinones said. "I have seen the lines and all the urgent cares. It's not good, especially with the weather, especially with the older people. So why not have it available for them here?"

You can find a list of sites at the NYC Health + Hospitals website.

As for the push to get more people vaccinated, city health officials have brought back the $100 incentive in which anyone getting their first vaccine shot or a booster shot will be eligible for a $100 gift card.

The cards will be available at all city-run COVID vaccination sites and SOMOS community care sites.

They are available through the end of the month, and they can be used until March 31.

Mayor Eric Adams is encouraging people to use those cards at small businesses across the city, as many are still struggling to rebound from the COVID shutdowns and lower foot traffic.

Adams says that if small businesses do better, they are in a better position to keep or hire more staff.

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