Marking 3 years since first COVID-19 case in Westchester County
It has been exactly three years since the first official COVID-19 diagnosis in Westchester County.
On March 3, 2020, a New Rochelle resident was found to have been infected with what would become the first of many cases in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
It sparked the biggest cluster of cases in the country at the time, and prompted a 1-mile-wide containment zone to be established around the synagogue where the cluster had been identified.
The virus would later spread throughout the synagogue and the city. It resulted in the New York National Guard coming in and one of the first testing centers in the state at Glen Island Park.
Mayor Noam Bramson looks back at that time as a learning experience for all residents.
"We kind of learned what we're made of,” he said.
The community united throughout that troubling period, according to Bramson. A local musician played ballads from her balcony to lift spirits and honor the lives lost. The city also received a delivery of masks from a church group in Kentucky.
During the height of the pandemic, he sent them a note reading, “I am grateful for and deeply moved by your gift of masks to the New Rochelle community. To receive such a wonderful expression of love and support touches hearts throughout our city."
Bramson believes the struggle ultimately made the community stronger.
“We showed that we can face any crisis,” he said. “We can look ahead to the future with confidence and optimism. I feel enormous gratitude to all the people of New Rochelle for rising to the occasion.”