New Yorkers are paying people to wait in line for them at COVID-19 testing sites

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Some New York City residents are paying other people to wait in long lines for them at COVID-19 testing sites amid an increase in testing demand ahead of the holidays, reports Business Insider.

New Yorkers are hiring people to stand in line for them via TaskRabbit, an online freelance labor marketplace. Once the person reaches the front of the line, they call the TaskRabbit client to take their spot.

One TaskRabbit user told the New York Post that she charged one customer $80 an hour and pocketed $240 after standing in line for three hours.

"I've already done this about five times already," another TaskRabbit user told the New York Post. "One day I got hired to do two lines, so that's how busy it is. Every day I'm getting inquiries."

Most customers are in their 20s, work from home and can afford to pay for line-waiting services, the TaskRabbit user said. 

"This year, there are some Taskers choosing to wait in line for clients seeking COVID-19 tests," TaskRabbit said in a statement to Business Insider. 

The company said its users are told ahead of time about the type of line they're needed to stand in and can decide whether they want to accept the task. 

"We encourage Taskers to not accept jobs for which they aren't comfortable for any reason," TaskRabbit said.

More articles on public health:
Sanford Health bars fans from 12-game basketball tournament
Indiana health system gets refrigerated truck to store bodies as COVID-19 deaths rise
New York to reopen emergency hospital; CDC urges contact tracers to change strategy — 5 COVID-19 updates


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