FLEMINGTON, NJ - Flemington officials encouraged residents to take advantage of free COVID testing offered by the county during a Facebook Live presentation last Thursday.

As the number of cases in the borough continues to escalate, “the biggest thing to talk about is testing,” said Cpl. Brian McNally, office of emergency management coordinator. “There’s a lot of confusion out there.”

The borough had, as of last week, more than 270 positive cases, up eight from the prior week. That’s a slowing from the previous week when 26 people tested positive for the virus, said McNally.

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“Our numbers are higher now than they were over the summer due to increased testing,” he said.

McNally demonstrated how to use the test kits, including how to sign up to receive one. The county will issue up to five kits per person every two weeks.

After signing up on the HunterdonCares.org website, kits are shipped directly to people’s homes, said McNally. Instructions and a test tube for a saliva sample are inside each one, along with prepaid postage to send the sample to the testing facility in Piscataway.

Mayor Betsy Driver said she’s used the kits several times and has found that results come quickly.

“If you get it [mailed] out in a timely fashion, you can get test results in 24 to 36 hours,” she said.

McNally said residents will need to provide a picture of their driver’s license and both sides of their health insurance card, making sign-up more friendly to mobile users than desktop users. Anyone without health insurance is still eligible for the kit, he said.

Users will also need to scan a bar code that comes with a test kit.

“It’s quite easy to do,” said Driver. “The most difficult part is waiting 30 minutes after eating or drinking” before taking the sample.

McNally said testing is the best line of defense for residents until the vaccine is more widely available. Currently, healthcare workers and first responders such as police, fire and rescue workers are the only ones being vaccinated, although, as of today, Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that that is expanding to those 65 years of age and older and those with underlying medical conditions.

Only Hunterdon Medical Center and the county health department are administering the vaccine. That also is expected to change shortly, with CVS, Walgreens and ShopRite all offering it.

“There will be plenty of vaccine sites available to the public,” said McNally.