PATERSON, NJ - Paterson is set to enter the next phase of its fight against coronavirus, Mayor Andre Sayegh announced Wednesday. With four dedicated sites to be open seven days a week, and the capacity to perform 500-1000 tests per day at each, COVID-19 testing will be available, starting Friday, in the most significant way locally since the pandemic began its spread in March.

“Testing is a critical component,” of the effort to reduce the spread of the virus that has hit Paterson particularly hard, and is among a number of tools, also including social distancing and contact tracing, that will allow city officials to reopen Paterson’s economy “the right way.”

While the announcement was preceded by an online rollout of the program, the gathering in front of Eastside High School took on special significance and was used as an opportunity to remember Dr. Gerald Glisson, the campus’ Principal of Operations who lost his battle with Coronavirus on May 3.

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Glisson, whom Superintendent Eileen Shafer said was the “type of individual every superintendent wants,” and was adept at dealing with students, parents, and staff “no matter the situation”, was 46.

Shafer went on to pledge the District’s support for the endeavor adding that they would be reaching out to parents directly, online and by phone, in a number of languages. “When it’s a time of crisis everyone needs to come together,” she said.

The free testing will be conducted starting Friday at Eastside High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Public School 18, and Public School 28 and will be for Paterson residents only. The sites will be open Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm, Tuesday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, and Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The site at Eastside High School will be closed on Saturday, May 16.

Residents seeking a test must bring a photo ID, and an insurance card or proof of residency. No Paterson resident will be turned away.

Test results will be returned within 24-72 hours.

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