The City of Jersey City is set to open two coronavirus testing locations tomorrow: one walk-up location and another drive-through, both of which can only be utilized by residents with an appointment.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We know testing is key to fight the virus, so we decided to use city funds to give better resources to Jersey City residents,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“Our residents deserve the best access to healthcare and testing, and we know these testing sites are an important part of the equation.”
The city’s two sites will send the tests the same vendor the state sites are using, which averages 72 hours to return results.
The announcement comes one day after the mayor called on the state to open a local testing site yesterday, but with the city announcing 130 patients, their first COVID-19-related death, and possibly two others still being investigated, officials obviously didn’t find it prudent to wait.
“We’re seeing the number of positive cases rise steeply nationwide, inundating our hospital system and compromising abilities to handle the further influx of positives as this virus continues to spread,” Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan.
“It’s proven that intervention and testing works to significantly slow the pace of the epidemic which will greatly help us provide care while lowering numbers of critically ill and overall positive cases.”
The first Jersey City testing site is a drive-thru option outside of the former DPW complex, located at 575 Route 440. The drive-thru allows residents to drive up and show proof of address, before being swabbed and driving away.
The second location is a walk-up testing site with an expedited process out of the Public Safety Headquarters building, located at 465 Marin Blvd.
Both sites will follow an appointment-only system with proof of address (a recent phone, electric, or gas bill) upon arrival.
Any resident who have been exposed to the virus and are exhibiting symptoms – dry cough, fever, or shortness of breath – is asked to call the COVID Call Center 201-547-5535 to make an appointment.
Both testing sites and the call center will be open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We cannot get complacent. We expect to enter a rough period in the very near future as the number of positive cases continues to climb,” stated Public Safety Director James Shea.
“If we can confirm who has it and who doesn’t through these testing sites, we’ll have much more control over this situation as we’ve learned from the cities overseas who have been battling the virus for months.”