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#BYO COVID-19 results: The new way to RSVP to NYC parties

#BYO COVID-19 results: The new way to RSVP to NYC parties

July 10, 2020 | 4:49pm

Before they RSVP, some New Yorkers are being asked to get tested for COVID-19 first.

That was the case for Upper West Side resident Jaime McLean, who headed to a June 27 birthday party held on a friend’s Manhattan terrace with two cakes — and negative test results.

Both the 40-year-old McLean and her 51-year-old husband John had gone to CityMD in the days leading up to the event for party approval.

“We all felt really protected because of the testing — and we’re all really close friends,” says McLean of the small gathering of 10 people.

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All attendees, she says, had additionally maintained strict quarantines over the previous months. “Being able to share birthdays, which a lot of us missed out on . . . gave us all a sense of relief.”

Gayle King and Oprah hug.
Gayle King and Oprah hugging@oprah/Instagram

On Wednesday, CBS News anchor Gayle King posted about a similar gathering on Instagram. After nearly two weeks of socially distanced quarantine at best friend Oprah Winfrey’s California home, and four negative COVID tests, the two — neither of whom wore masks — embraced each other outside the front door before heading inside for a “freedom dinner.”

“A COVID-free hug,” says Winfrey in King’s video, which nabbed over 50,000 likes.

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In Manhattan, party hosts Lauren Michôd, 41, and 43-year-old fiancé Patrick Moelk, requested the tests after a friend attended an outdoor workout class where no one had masks on. (That friend ultimately didn’t attend, just for safety.)

“And then it became a thing,” says Michôd, who was tested at a mobile site near her apartment. “It’s making sure everyone has the same . . . standards that you have.”

After arriving with masks on, maintaining distance and gathering only outside, the group munched on chicken, steak and seafood dishes. While keeping measures safe, they still allowed themselves a bit of fun.

“I had joked . . . about getting those charms that you put around your drink [glass to ID it],” says Michôd. “We didn’t have to do that and you could stand next to each other in a photo and you could hug each other hello and goodbye.”

According to Dr. Waleed Javaid, director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown, “getting tested close to a party is reasonable.”

But, he says, quarantining, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are the best strategies. Still, among close-knit groups, advance testing can add a bit more security to the hangout.

“If they’re keeping their bubble small and being . . . very conscious, it might be something to consider for social gatherings moving forward,” he says. “You still should be very careful.”

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McLean says it’s going to become the norm in her life until a vaccine becomes available.

“We’re used to living in New York, being social and . . . running out the door and doing all these wonderful things,” she says. “It’s very nice to be able to be social but to be safe at the same time. It’s a new world, right?”

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