JERSEY CITY, NJ - Expecting to get reimbursed through the federal CARES Act, the city council voted earlier this week to approve a $750,000 contract for COVID-19 testing to Bio Reference Laboratories of Elmwood Park.

Of this, $300,000 will be used for antibody testing. 

“This is different from the swab test,” said Health Department Director Stacy Flanagan. Although the unit is considered mobile, the state has given approval for a single location at the Marin Avenue fire station in where the tests are to be conducted, Flanagan added.

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“We will be working closely with public safety,” she said of the test that requires blood to be drawn. “This is being used to identify potential plasma donors.”

Meanwhile swab tests for COVID-19 will continue in various parts of the city, including senior buildings and parking lots for people who have no doctors or insurance. “We’re doing saliva tests in nursing homes, but we’re getting no support from the state from these,” Flanagan told the councilmembers.

In response to a concern raised by Councilman Daniel Rivera regarding the health of first responders and frontline workers Flanagan offered an assurance that they will indeed continue to have access to testing.

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