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Inside Glen Island: Being Tested in New Rochelle

Checking IDs- Photos submitted by Loop Readers


If you’ve been to Glen Island in New Rochelle to sail or jog, to admire the ruins of the old casino or to attend a modern day event, you might find it eerily transformed.

Glen Island, New Rochelle entrance to testing facility


The state’s first drive-thru coronavirus testing facility now occupies much of the 105 acre park. At the drawbridge that connects Glen Island to the mainland, a State Trooper and County Police Officer waved cars in, one at a time. Speaking loudly through my closed driver’s side car window, as required, we were asked if we had an appointment, and to put our IDs on the dashboard.

Neither myself nor my partner has any symptoms of coronavirus. We were offered the tests, if we wanted, when we called the Coronavirus Hotline* because we live very near the containment zone. Three days later, they called with an appointment time.

We wove past a series of checkpoints where our names were further verified by members of the National Guard in protective face and body gear, some holding signs to direct us. Soon we began creeping toward the white tents, buzzing with health care workers in hazmat suits.  At the tables along the side, more staff put individual samples into containers, and boxed them up for testing in a laboratory.


When we finally were able to open the window, each of us was greeted by a surprisingly upbeat nurse, dressed more like an astronaut. The nurse on my side gently pushed my head back and  pushed a very long cotton swab up my nose until it felt like it couldn’t possibly go any further. She twirled it around, a little sting, and it was over in about 10 seconds.

The whole process took an hour. Then we went and bought some gas for $1.99 a gallon.

And now we wait.

*Hotline number: (888) 364-3065

Photos submitted by Loop Readers



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