BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Bernards officials posted the news online and highlighted at its second virtual Township Committee meeting on Tuesday that a new COVID-19 drive-through testing site will open at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg on Thursday, April 16.

Testing for symptomatic Somerset and Hunterdon County residents will be by appointment only, with a valid doctor’s prescription required.

Initially, the test site at RVCC, located at 118 Lamington Rd, will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 16, 17 and 20, according to information on the township website. Additional dates will be offered based on availability of test kits and personal protective gear, according to information on the Bernards Township and Somerset County websites,

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Appointments can be requested beginning on Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, April 14, residents can make an appointment by visiting https://somerset-hunterdon.adlabscovidtest.com where they will complete a registration form. Residents without access to a computer can call (908) 237-7150.

Residents must be exhibiting symptoms, remain in their vehicles during testing, and show proof of residents, Bernards Township Administrator Pat Monaco said during the virtual meeting on Tuesday.

In response to a Bernards resident's question submitted by email, Monaco added that setting up testing sites is difficult because protective gear and tests must be obtained.

Information and updates from Somerset County are on www.co.somerset.nj.us/covid19status. The testing site was set up in collaboration with Raritan Valley Community College.

Details on testing are:

Testing is free of charge and only available to Hunterdon and Somerset County residents, age five and older, who are exhibiting symptoms, such as fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. At the test site, individuals must have a written doctor’s authorization and show proof of residency, such as a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification.Anyone who does not have an appointment and a valid prescription or written order from their physician will be turned away.

For the safety, health and security of staff and volunteers, patients must arrive by car. The testing site will not allow entry if residents don’t arrive in a vehicle, even if they have a valid driver’s license and prescription.

Setting up testing site 'number one priority' for Somerset County Freeholders

"Setting up a testing site for the health and safety of our residents has been the Somerset County Freeholder Board’s number one priority," said Somerset Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson. "The Board, administration and staff have been working nonstop for weeks to secure the necessary test kits and PPE supplies,”

Robinson added that "Competition between county, state and federal authorities has delayed the opening of this site and put Somerset County residents at risk. We want to thank Congressman Tom Malinowski for his efforts to obtain the necessary equipment needed to get this site operational for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents.”

Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Shaun C. Van Doren said, "I am advised that coupled with social distancing practices, accurate detection and containment of the Coronavirus is the best chance to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of this virus. We thank our health department staff, volunteers and Somerset County partners for cooperatively setting up this joint testing site to protect the residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties."

Malinowski calls for federal government to 'fix national supply chain'

"We are not going to beat this virus until we have widespread access to testing, so I’m happy we were able to work together to set up this site for Somerset and Hunterdon residents," U.S. Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-district 7) said in the announcement on the websites. 

However, Malinowski added, "It’s still too hard for our state and local governments to get the basic protective equipment our medical personnel need. I’m going to keep demanding that the federal government fix the national supply chain."

For more information, contact coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Bernards Township Committee approved a resolution in support of the testing site at its virtual meeting.