FLEMINGTON, NJ - If you want or need to get tested for COVID-19, there are a lot of locations and scheduling options.
During the weekly community briefing, Flemington OEM Corp. Brian McNally offered up-to-date information about testing sites, locations, costs and requirements.
“We’ve had a lot of questions recently come in about the testing sites,” he said, “and the differences between community, public and private testing.”
There are only two FEMA Community Based Testing Centers in New Jersey. These drive-thru sites are located at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus and the PNC Arts Center at Exit 166 off the Garden State Parkway.
The tests given at both of these locations are free, and, more importantly, those wanting to be tested at these public sites don’t need to have COVID-19 symptoms, an appointment or a prescription. However proof of New Jersey residency is required.
Since there are no appointments, expect long wait times.
The BCC location is open on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with staff able to test 500 people daily starting at 8 a.m.
The PNC location is open starting at 8 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday for the general public.
The local test site being run jointly by Hunterdon and Somerset counties is at the Raritan Valley Community College, on Lamington Road in Branchburg. The tests are being given there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
At this county-run test site, an appointment and a doctor’s prescription is required, along with certain symptom criteria that must be met.
Private testing is being done at the CVS on Route 202 North in Readington. Prior to being tested at this drive-thru location a questionnaire must be filled out online at CVS.com/minuteclinic/covid19-testing.
There is no cost. Results are available in two to four days.
The Walmart on Route 31 in Flemington is also doing private testing by appointment, which is scheduled online. The no-cost drive-thru testing is available to those who meet CDC, state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high risk groups without symptoms.
Residents qualify if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive, if they are 65 or older, if they are pregnant or if they have any chronic or other health issue or immune disease.
McNally said he went on the website to see if he’d qualify and, after “playing around” and responding in all different ways, the outcome was the same.
“Every time I did it, I was approved for testing, “he said, “so pretty much anybody who wants a test can get tested.”
The test is done using a self-administered nasal swab test while in your own vehicle, observed by a trained Walmart pharmacist to ensure the sample is taken correctly. Tests results are typically available in two days.
There aren’t any veteran-specific testing sites, McNally said, but veterans who want to be tested can contact the Veterans Benefit Hotline at 888-865-8387 and speak with a telehealth doctor, who will be able to write a prescription.
For those in Hunterdon County who have a prescription and meet the criteria, but are disabled and need transportation, assistance is available through the Hunterdon Helpline at 908-782-4357.