The first full day of COVID-19 testing at the Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus appeared to go off without a hitch today, a particularly positive outcome after a few residents expressed frustrations with making an appointment by phone.
— John Heinis (@HeinisHardNews) March 24, 2020
After a soft opening on Monday, the drive-through testing center was open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., by appointment only, with no more than a handful of cars on line waiting to be screened.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, along with police officers from Secaucus, North Bergen, Union City, Harrison – among other surrounding communities – were all on scene with face masks and gloves to make sure the operation was consistent.
At least two light up street signs, along with dozens of orange traffic cones, alerted drivers approaching both sides of the Meadowlands Parkway – the street the hospital is located on – that coronavirus testing was ongoing.
Prior to today’s opening, a handful of county residents posted on social media about being unable to reach the county at the phone line they had designated to make appointments: 201-388-1097.
County spokesman Jim Kennelly wrote on Twitter that a second number, 646-862-1161, was opened after “after volume overwhelmed the first” number.
He later said that local healthcare staff from the hospital were manning the phones, as opposed to a corporate call center.
Kennelly reiterated that sentiment this evening to HCV, also noting that the center planned on doing about 200 scheduled tests a day, though the final numbers from Tuesday were not available as of 7 p.m.
This afternoon, the New Jersey Department of Health said Hudson County has 234 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, also announcing two recent deaths, bringing the county’s total to four.
Their municipalities of residence have not been revealed at this time.
The COVID-19 tallies released by each municipality as of 7 p.m. today are 85 in Jersey City, 25 in Hoboken, 34 in North Bergen, 16 in West New York, 14 in Union City, 11 in Weehawken, six in Kearny, five in Secaucus, one in Guttenberg, and eight in Bayonne – for a total of 205 cases.