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Long Island Residents, Business Owners Hopeful Omicron Surge Nearing Peak

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There are widespread delays in getting results for COVID-19 PCR tests as early signs suggest the Omicron variant's surge is peaking.

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan has an update from Long Island.

Kimani Ellison of Elmont said his habits have shifted again.

"I can't go inside without a mask. It's crazy now," Ellison said.

"We're in the middle of an enormous viral storm. There is nowhere to hide from this virus, it will effect every community. The booster is essential," said Dr. Bruce Farber, a leading infectious disease specialist with Northwell Health.


Dr. Farber believes the virus will soon plateau. Still, up to 40% of patients admitted to Northwell hospitals for other reasons are testing positive for Omicron.

Many cases are going unrecorded because people are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and never got tested or reported their at-home test kit results.

Multiple bank lobbies on Long Island are closed and some entire banks in New York City have staffing issues.

The surge is effecting Broadway. Eight shows so far announced temporary or permanent closing.

Thirty-one percent of fitness centers on Long Island have permanently closed since the pandemic started.

"We represent a good amount of brands that are currently trying to figure out the landscape of the fitness sector," said Jayson Siano, CEO of Sabre Real Estate Advisors.

Siano said his fitness centers must offer a hybrid approach to keep clients who also want to work out with digital classes.

Meantime, masks are needed inside.

"Sometimes they forget their mask and then we say, 'Can you please put this on,' and it's no issue for them," said Jim Denburg, a fast food restaurant owner.

"Everybody's frightened, but I think the numbers are going down. Hopefully things will get better and maybe in a month or so we can ditch these masks and get back to life," said Annette Sokolovic of Garden City.

New York opened mass testing sites this week at Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University.

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