A shaky first day for Roosevelt Island Mobile Test and Trace


Mobile test and trace for COVID-19 opened up on Roosevelt Island yesterday. NYC Health & Hospitals parked its van outside Good Shepherd Plaza, welcoming all comers. The results were shaky, at best.

By David Stone

Test and Trace Van Arrives as Promised

Photo credit: Judith Berdy, Roosevelt Island Historical Society

At mid-morning, Judith Berdy noticed a line of folks waiting for COVID-19 testing. Appeals from multiple residents had caught the attention of city council member-elect Julie Menin and state assembly member Rebecca Seawright. Both tweeted the good news on Friday afternoon. Monday morning would see the van parked at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Although the city promised only a week of local testing, any extension or return depends on use for continuing or bringing it back. First day results were uncertain as the afternoon was slow. Personnel onsite declined answering questions about the number tests taken.

Early afternoon for Test & Trace. ©David Stone/The Roosevelt Island Daily.

By early afternoon, the lines were gone, and probably for protection against the cold, they’d closed the door. At first, I thought a lunch break explained it, but personnel inside told me that wasn’t until 2:00.

But before that happened, I looked in the passenger window because a hooded driver slumped over the steering wheel. Was he okay? That brought the sliding door sliding open.

Planning on updating readers, I asked how many people had been tested so far. The answer was mysteriously fuzzy, giving me too little information for reporting anything except having too little information.

Pockets of low or no traffic aren’t good encouragement for Test & Trace staying or returning. The simple message is, residents asked for it, and now that they’ve got it, lining up for tests is critical. There’s no harm in knowing and likely a whole lot of good. So, get tested already.

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