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New free COVID test sites in subways and at Penn Station, MTA says

People line up on East 42nd Street outside

People line up on East 42nd Street outside Grand Central Terminal for COVID-19 testing Monday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Anyone hoping to get now-scarce COVID-19 tests gained two new "no appointment needed" free Manhattan sites on Monday: the Times Square-42nd Street subway station, just one stop north of Penn Station, and Grand Central Terminal, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

And starting Thursday, five more PCR testing locations will open, including one at Penn Station in the West End Concourse. It will run seven days a week from 3 to 8 p.m., offering free tests provided by the state in the face of the omicron surge.

The other four locations are Brooklyn's Broadway Junction; Roosevelt Avenue in Queens; 179th Street in Jamaica; and East 180th Street in the Bronx.

The Penn Station and Jamaica sites will be closed Friday for New Year's Eve, and all will be closed New Year's Day.

The Times Square station's testing site will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and located where the 1/2/3, N/Q/R/W and shuttle lines converge.

The Grand Central location, in a retail storefront at 89 E. 42nd St., runs seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"The recent COVID surge means we need to maximize the number of testing locations, including within the mass transit system," MTA acting chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement.

Since May, when the state and MTA begin offering coronavirus vaccines at pop-up sites at subways, more than 37,000 people have gotten shots, the MTA said.

Boosters now are offered at three locations — Grand Central, which opened Monday, as well as Times Square-42nd Street and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue-74th Street.

More information on the MTA booster program is available here.

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