Citing lab delays, Bayonne ceasing PCR COVID-19 testing, will offer rapid testing tomorrow

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Citing lab delays, the City of Bayonne is ceasing PCR COVID-19 testing until further notice and will be offering rapid tests tomorrow instead.

Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Across the nation, COVID-19 testing labs are having problems providing PCR test results in a timely fashion. In Bayonne, we have people who tested just prior to and just after Christmas who have still not received their PCR test results. This is unacceptable!,” Mayor Jimmy Davis said in a robocall late last night.

“Every lab in this area is currently faced with staffing issues and they simply cannot process the tests that continue to be sent to them daily. As of right now and for the foreseeable future, PCR testing is not a viable option. We need to pivot immediately and take a different approach to testing so that our citizens can be properly prepared, informed, and protected.”

As a result, Bayonne will not offer any form of COVID-19 testing today, with rapid testing available at the Rich Korpi Ice Rink tomorrow through Saturday, from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.

Since tests are limited, only 500 will be offered per day and will only be offered by appointment, asking residents to only get tested if they have a known exposure or are symptomatic. Hoboken is taking a similar approach going forward.

“You can schedule your appointment by calling 201-537-4818. I want to thank you all for your cooperation and understanding throughout this health emergency. Be well and I will provide you with more information about additional testing in the very near future,” Davis concluded in the robocall.

The primary COVID-19 testing site was moved to the ice rink, the same site that does COVID-19 vaccinations, last week, with appointment system quickly abandoned due to the high emand in favor of a first come, first served system.

Alliance was the lab handling Bayonne’s PCR testing and their rapid tests will now be processed by Bespoke Health, where appointments can be made here.

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