CAMDEN, NJ — Considering the battle against COVID-19 has been largely referred to as such, perhaps Kevin O’Dowd, co-president of Cooper Hospital, was most apt in referring to testing as a “weapon” Tuesday morning as the city of Camden opened a new site to screen residents.
Health officials said the second of two county-run sites in the city was specifically opened at 3101 Federal Street in East Camden because of the upsurge in case numbers there.
As of Tuesday, the county has confirmed 3,629 positive cases — 1,034 of which trace back to Camden city.
Combined, the sites have capacity to test roughly 250 people for coronavirus every day, county spokesperson Kyle Sullender told TAPinto Camden.
“For testing to be effective, it must be widely accessible,” said O’Dowd, who also serves as CEO of Cooper. “By opening additional testing locations in Camden, we are taking another positive step forward to expand testing options for all communities."
Another site in South Camden was opened at the end of April at 2600 Mount Ephraim Ave. — the same week that the county shuttered operations at Cooper's Poynt Waterfront Park.
The East Camden site — located at Dudley Grange Park — will be run by Cooper from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Camden County residents, regardless of having a referral to be tested from a medical provider, must make an appointment before visiting the site by calling 856-968-7100.
“This is now the third site we have stood up to expand testing for the residents of Camden County and based on the data we have collected from our first testing site,” said Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli.
In their daily update, the county announced three additional deaths this afternoon linked to virus complications, totaling 189 so far.
As state officials rolled out a new portal to track long-term care facility (LCF) figures, Camden County said 136 of the total deaths can be linked to LCF.
“The only way we can move into the next phase of recovery is to increase our testing capacity as much as possible,” he added. “Thankfully, through collaboration with our healthcare partners, we have been able to offer an expanding array of testing options throughout the county.”
Virtua will manage operations at the South Camden test site based out of the Camden Division of Motor Vehicles parking lot. Currently, it will run five days a week from Noon to 4 p.m.
“We feel confident that these two new testing locations will help us to better meet people where they are,” said Virtua Health President and CEO, Dennis Pullin.
Both sites are accessible by walk-up or vehicle traffic. Hours of operation may change depending on demand.
More details on the new Camden County cases are available here.