ESSEX COUNTY, NJ – A COVID-19 testing site will open in Essex County on Thursday, according to a joint statement by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, J, Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice President Wayne Richardson.  The site at Weequahic Park in Newark will be open through Saturday with 100 tests administered per day. It will reopen the following week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with 150 tests being administered per day.  

The testing site is for Essex County residents only and by appointment only.  Residents must arrive by car and can register for an appointment at www.EssexCOVID.org.

“The most effective way that elected officials and public health professionals can get a handle on how far reaching COVID-19 has become is to test residents for the virus,” DiVincenzo, Gill and Richardson said in a joint statement. “These screenings are in high demand and we ask for the public’s cooperation throughout this process. We encourage our residents to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and not place themselves in situations where they may be exposed.”

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Those tested must be symptomatic of COVID-19, which means meeting specific testing criteria including a fever of at least 99.6 degrees and respiratory symptoms of shortness of breath. Appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those who do not meet the criteria will not receive an appointment. The county urges those exhibiting severe symptoms, to contact their local health care provider or local health department for guidance.

To get an appointment, residents must complete an online screening process at www.EssexCOVID.org. The screening includes several health-related questions and requests details of any symptoms they have related to the coronavirus. Upon completion of the survey, they will be informed if they are eligible for the screening. If they are eligible, a confirmation number will be provided which must be brought with them to their appointment.

If someone does not have internet access, they can register by calling the Essex County Office of Emergency Management at 973-324-9950. The call-in center will be open form 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. An operator will help them complete the initial survey and issue the confirmation number. Residents must bring the confirmation number with them to their appointment.

Tests are free of charge to Essex County residents. Having health insurance is not a requirement. Follow-up contact will be made to assess the continuing health of the person who completed the screening.

Medical personnel from RWJBarnabas Health System, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, University Hospital, Hackensack Hospital, Essex County Hospital and nurses from public schools in Essex County are staffing the testing sites and call-in center. Security at the site is being provided by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office and Newark Police Department.

Essex County will continue to administer the virus screening as long as supplies of test kits, gowns, facial masks and gloves last.

Residents can help stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus by washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer after touching hard surfaces, staying home if they feel sick, practicing social distancing and avoiding spending any time in crowds of people. Residents are also reminded to adhere to restrictions enacted by Governor Phil Murphy, which include a curfew between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. and restrict their traveling unless it is absolutely necessary.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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