Testing Is Fast & Free

COVID-19 Testing, First Day Brings Steady Traffic

Updated 1 week ago David Stone
COVID-19 Testing, First Day Brings Steady Traffic
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

Thanks to NYC's Health & Hospitals, we got tested for COVID-19 today. They set up tents under the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix. Registering and waiting in line ate up most of the one hour needed because the test itself takes all of ten seconds.

A member of the support staff told me that Roosevelt Islanders lined up before 8:00 for the 10:00 a.m. start, but by noon, when my wife and I arrived, the lines were manageable. There was one for seniors and another for everyone else. For seniors, chairs were available if you needed to stay off your feet.

The helix was shady, and the HHC staff friendly beyond everyday courtesy.

Registering takes about five minutes.
Registering takes about five minutes.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

You stand in line twice.

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First, you line up to register with a staffer who collects all your basic information. It's smart to bring your wallet or purse, including a photo ID.

Next, you get in line for the actual test.

At all points, HHC has attendants ready to answer questions and make sure everyone's socially distanced - with folding chairs, courtesy of RIOC, if needed.

One by one, you're ushered into a tent in semi-privacy. Couples are allowed to enter together, as long as space is available. Three aides work with computers and testing equipment inside.

Here was the only snag as my medic exercised great patience, waiting for a balky internet to let him load the database with my name on it. "As more and more people come in for tests," Patrick explained, 'it slows down."

A separate line to testing for seniors.
A separate line to testing for seniors.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

The Test

The test itself is anticlimactic, ten seconds of swabbing in one of your nostrils. All you have to do is lower your mask and lean your head back.

It's painless. At first, it tickled, then there was minor irritation as Patrick slowly twirled a Q-tip to get a sample.

Easy peasy.

If you haven't gotten tested yet, go soon. It's free and HHC will be here all week, same location, form 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

You'll get your results, with a call and/or email, within a few days 

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