JERSEY CITY, NJ - Mayor Steven Fulop joined public safety and health officials in unveiling two city-run testing sites for Jersey City residents Friday.
While indications show the death toll from the virus might not reach the original horrific estimates, the virus poses a serious public health concern, he said. The city developed its own sites partly because of the limited access to testing as until now the nearest one was located in Secaucus.
“We’re all in this together,” Fulop said in a telephone interview with TAPinto. “We’re all trying to get through this and remain healthy.”
At the press conference, Fulop and others demonstrated the process the testing sites will go through.
“We know testing is key to fight the virus, so we decided to use city funds to give better resources to Jersey City residents,” Fulop said. “Our residents deserve the best access to healthcare and testing, and we know these testing sites are an important part of the equation.”
Without testing, it’s difficult to identify which areas have infections, how many people are infected, and the seriousness of the infection’s growth rate. The city’s two sites will send the tests the same vendor the state sites are using, which averages 72 hours to return results.
“We’re seeing the number of positive cases rise steeply nationwide, inundating our hospital system and compromising abilities to handle the further influx of positives as this virus continues to spread,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of Jersey City’s Health and Human Services. “It’s proven that intervention and testing works to significantly slow the pace of the epidemic which will greatly help us provide care while lowering numbers of critically ill and overall positive cases.”
The first Jersey City testing site is a drive-thru in the southwest section of the city near the former DPW complex, located at 575 NJ-440. The drive-thru allows residents to drive up and show proof of address, before being swabbed and driving away.
The second location is a walk-up testing site with at the Public Safety Headquarters building located at 465 Marin Boulevard.
Both sites will follow an appointment-only system with proof of address (a recent phone, electric, or gas bill) upon arrival. Any resident who has been exposed to the virus and is exhibiting symptoms – dry cough, fever, or shortness of breath – is asked to call the COVID Call Center 201-547-5535 to make an appointment.
Both testing sites and the Call Center will be open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We cannot get complacent,” said Public Safety Director James Shea. “We expect to enter a rough period in the very near future as the number of positive cases continues to climb. If we can confirm who has it and who doesn’t through these testing sites, we’ll have much more control over this situation as we’ve learned from the cities overseas who have been battling the virus for months.”
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