HOLMDEL, NJ - The Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center COVID-19 testing site had a difficult start - which got worse each day.Tomorrow, it's closed. A modified schedule will begin next week.
Supplies and staffing challenges resulted in sick people stuck in long lines facing quick closings each day. This forced hundreds of potential COVID-19 test takers to drive, or be driven, home.
Originally, only about 250 people were able to be tested due to limited supplies. This will change next week. It is being reorganized to help more people.
To do that, it needs to shut down and work alternate days, on an alternating schedule with Bergen County.
So, Holmdel PNC Arts Center will be closed Sunday. The Bergen site will be open at 8 a.m. Sunday if you are willing to travel and will be open until 500 tests are administered. The Governor reported these changes on Saturday. Holmdel is back open on Monday for 500 tests.
According to Senator O'Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso, who lobbied for the Holmdel site, only folks sick with substantial symptoms of COVID-19 should go. The 'worried well' should not. There may be a better and easier way.
Many local doctors are providing COVID-19 tests - so the best bet is call your doctor first and avoid the line.
Some good news for first responders to note. Effective Saturday, April 4, and continuing every Saturday after that, the Holmdel site will only test symptomatic health-care workers such as nurses, EMT's, doctors and other on the front lines of the pandemic.
“This is a very manpower intensive operation,” Murphy said during Thursday coronavirus briefing. “We have got to preserve our assets, and our most precious assets are people.”
The advice from local providers? Be calm, be smart and, with mild to moderate symptoms, stay home and quarantine.