RANDOLPH, NJ -- Morris County’s first community-based testing site for COVID-19 opened on Mon., March 30, at the Randolph campus of the County College of Morris (CCM). Through a partnership with Atlantic Health System, the drive-through site is free and only available to residents of Morris County who have prescriptions from medical doctors or healthcare providers and pre-scheduled appointments.
Peggy Wright, spokesperson for Morris County Sheriff's Office, said 72 people were tested at the facility by Atlantic Health System nurses wearing safety suits and air purifying respirator hoods. She said 86 people made appointments to be tested, but some had to be turned away because they “did not have the proper paperwork, including proof of being a Morris County resident and having a doctor’s referral.”
“The county is paying for the testing and the test kits, with the expectation of being reimbursed through federal emergency funds,” Wright said. “The testing went very smoothly.”
The process allowed 15 minutes per vehicle, from registration to testing. “That proved to be more time than needed, and [the team] will increase the number of tests they can perform between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” Wright said.
Officials expect more people to show up on day two. “The registration portal has now been adapted to provide for about 330 registrants,” Wright said. “Right now, 180 people have signed up to be tested [Tuesday].”
The backdrop of an empty campus, closed for classes since March 15, allows the CCM Department of Public Safety and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management to reconfigure temporary driving routes through the school's grounds to accommodate COVID-19 testing. With the college’s entrance on Center Grove Road closed for through-traffic, its entrance on Dover-Chester Road serves as the primary access point for the flow of traffic into the testing queue.
Vaulted tents supplied by A Party Pleasing Rental of East Hanover pepper the testing location, situated in Parking Lot 1, one of CCM’s main student lots. The enclosures provide heat and electricity for Atlantic Health staff members and serve as the centermost point for in-vehicle testing, accessible by six car lanes. There also are modified canopies for patients driving through. Walk-ins are not allowed.
Along with the many medical professionals, law enforcement from the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police and Randolph Township Police Department stand ready to provide support to residents, taking every safety precaution to coordinate the urgent operation.
To obtain an appointment through Morris County’s COVID-19 appointment portal, residents can visit https://health.morriscountynj.gov/COVIDTesting.
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