Despite weeks of warnings from city, state officials and public health experts, many New Yorkers are still planning indoor Thanksgiving get-togethers with friends and family, threatening to launch the region into a full-blown second wave of the virus.

Erica Young was among thousands of New Yorkers queued up for hours on Monday, hoping to secure a negative COVID-19 test to achieve some kind of peace of mind before gathering with friends indoors for the holiday.

“Without a negative test I would not have entry,” said the 38-year-old Lower East Side tech worker, describing her friend as a “five star chef” who hosted Thanksgiving every year. This year, however, the gathering would be larger than usual, because some of her friends had canceled their plans to leave the city. The lure of food and friendship outweighed the potential risks of catching COVID-19, Young said.

“Everyone’s getting a test,” she said. “I guess I’ll just get over my fear and be comfortable with it.”

Health officials have been mounting increasingly desperate pleas to New Yorkers to follow public health guidance. At a press conference on Tuesday, DOH Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi again asked New Yorkers to stay home, and if they intended to gather anyway, urged them to stay outdoors, wear masks, and socially distance.

“It is not too late to cancel your travel plans,” he said. “Now is the moment to make a difference in this next wave of the pandemic.”

New York’s COVID-19 positive testing rate has been slowly but steadily rising since the summer. New York City is now reporting an average of 1,400 new COVID-19 cases a day, blowing past the threshold of 550 it set earlier in the pandemic. The city’s testing positivity rate climbed up to 3.17% yesterday, though new hospitalizations were at 113 on Sunday, well below the threshold of 200 set by the city to measure the severity of the outbreak.

More than 207,000 people were tested for coronavirus statewide last Friday, a record for a single day since the pandemic began. Hours-long lines at testing sites across the city indicate many New Yorkers intend to visit with loved ones despite the risk that poses, and are looking for a negative test to offer some sense of security. But health experts point out the test only captures a snapshot in time, and that you could have been previously exposed but not developed an immune response, or be exposed after getting tested.

I know this doesn’t really guarantee anything, but it’s kind of like an extra little thing to tick off the list,” said Sarah, a 48-year-old clothing designer who refused to give her last name, standing on line at a Lower East Side testing site Monday. She was considering attending an indoor gathering with friends where everyone had to be tested beforehand.

“I’ve been alone in my apartment for eight months and really wanted to be with people,” she said, adding that she was still unsure if she’d go.

Mike Guglielmo, a 35-year-old warehouse operations manager, said he, his wife and newborn baby would be spending Thanksgiving at his mother’s house in northern New Jersey, with seven other guests, with the “heat blasting and all the windows open,” he said.

His cousins tested positive for COVID-19 on Staten Island in early November, but have since tested negative, he said.

“It was my cousin and aunt. They want to get together. I’m nervous. If anything happens to our son, they’re gonna die,” said Guglielmo, referring to his infant son, born at the height of the pandemic in March. Guglielmo wasn’t able to see his newborn or wife for a week because of restrictions on hospital visitations, he said.

“It sounds crazy, but I don’t know what else to do,” he said, quickly correcting himself. “The other thing to do would be, not have it.”

Other New Yorkers were taking a more cavalier approach toward the upcoming holiday.

“If you’re old and you have health issues, you should stay home. If you’re fine and everyone in your family’s fine then I don’t see why you can’t get together,” said Al Kaufman, 61, from Howard Beach, who was outside his Lower East Side shop The Pickle Guys on Monday afternoon.

Epidemiologists have urged against this line of thinking, and the Centers for Disease Control now estimates that potentially 40% of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning they are likely spreading the disease before they even realize they have it

“It could be anywhere,” Kaufman said. “You could go get a cup of coffee, the guy in Starbucks, and then you have it, you know. You can’t stop living, you gotta still live a little bit.”

More than 250,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States this year, and the virus is now spreading uncontrollably through much of the country.

Elected officials who’ve touted public health measures haven’t always followed their own guidance. U.S. House Democrats planned a large indoor gathering for newly elected representatives, only to have it canceled following massive uproar. The Daily News recently chronicled mayoral contender Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams attending several large indoor fundraisers and a birthday party in recent days. And on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an impassioned address, describing his daughter Mariah crying about not being able to come home for Thanksgiving, only to reveal a few hours later on WAMC that he planned to host his 89-year-old mother in Albany. His plans later changed, a spokesperson said.

The New York Times interviewed 635 epidemiologists about their Thanksgiving and found 64 percent intended to celebrate only with their immediate household. Twenty-one percent said they would be dining with others outside and 15 percent said they would be seeing others but not dining.

Health officials involved in the federal response, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Debrah Birx have been urging Americans not to travel, to only celebrate only with their immediate households, and to wear masks if they must be indoors with people from other households.

Some New Yorkers were taking those messages to heart. Kay Kondo, 34, also on a COVID testing line Monday, said she had a weeklong Netflix binge planned with her husband and kids, and wanted to feel extra safe beforehand with a negative test. This was the first time the family had spent the holiday at home, which as vegans, meant they could finally plan the menu themselves.

“We’re normally angry, silent vegans, so this is the perk,” she said.

Joan Neblett, 54, was selling chocolates to a long line people waiting for a COVID test on Houston Street on Monday afternoon. She and her 14-year-old son usually travel to Pennsylvania to be with family for the holiday; but not this year, she said.

“We are staying home. They say prevention is better than cure,” Neblett said. “I’m just gonna go out and get me something to eat for me and my son and enjoy the holiday and just be blessed. Just to see another beautiful day, I’m too grateful.”