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New Yorkers Forced To Change Christmas Plans On The Fly After Positive COVID Tests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It'll be a quiet Christmas for those forced to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported Friday, people are rearranging plans and trying to make the best of it, but it's going to be a lonely holiday for some.

Sean Riddles had a big Christmas family reunion lined up in Brooklyn. But one-by-one, relatives tested positive.

"My grandma, she wanted to come, but she caught COVID. So did my aunt," said Riddles, who's grateful their symptoms are mild. "I just can't see them right now."

FIND TESTING SITES: Click here for New York City's testing site locator, including mobile sites and at-home appointments

"It definitely dwindled down our Christmas plans," said Sophie Wilfong.

"This year, you know, we have to make it really small," said Nikki Healy.

AVOID THE LINES: Click here for NYC Health+Hospitals testing wait times

Wilfong, Healy and their dog Spicy were forced into a low-key Christmas. Usually, it's the opposite.

"It probably would've been around 25 people, normally," Healy said. "And then everyone kind of got it... my brother, my uncle and my cousin."

It's a lonely holiday for Rachel Pikulski, who has her dog Tex for company. Having COVID now is twice as tough. Pikulski's birthday is the day before Christmas.

"This is the first time since I've been born that I haven't been home with my family for Christmas or my birthday. So that's kind of strange," Pikulski said. "I am hoping that I'll be able to go home for New Year's next weekend."

Clare Eustace had COVID over Thanksgiving. She's better now, but, with others in her family testing positive, a bustling Christmas in Connecticut is canceled. Eustace will have a two-person Manhattan staycation.


Christmas complicated by COVID means changing plans on the fly and for some friend groups it means getting together in smaller gatherings.

"So we're all testing before we're getting together. So it's great that they have at-home tests now that we can do that with," said John Soroka.

"There's a pall over the holiday," said Carole Robbins, a Hell's Kitchen resident. "And even if we're not together, we find a way to Zoom."

"As long as everyone's safe, that's all that matters," Riddles said.

That's true whether you're isolating or improvising this Christmas.

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