UNION, NJ – One hundred and twenty people were processed through the county-run drive-up COVID-19 testing site at Kean University on Monday, the first day of testing.

“We plan to be here as long as we need to be,” said Union County Manager Edward Oatman, “as long as there is a need.”  He said they anticipate providing 200 tests per day.  “But, if we get more than 200 swabs, we’ll test more,” he added.

The test is being offered to Union County residents, Union County first responders and essential personnel who have a prescription from, and an appointment made on their behalf by, their healthcare professional.  “The goal of the site is not to triage or answer questions,” said Oatman, “that has already been done through health care providers by following CDC guidelines.”

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Oatman said personnel from Overlook Medical Center, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway staffed the site and administered the tests.

The testing process begins as a vehicle pulls into the queue in the parking lot at Kean University and is shown a telephone number to call from their cell phone, said a county official. The vehicle’s window remain closed during the entire process, up until the test is administered.  Once the vehicle occupant speaks to testing personnel on the telephone verifying their information, (i.e., do they have an appointment and a prescription), they pull their vehicle into a testing tent.  Inside the tent, hand gestures are used to ask the window be lowered so the swabbing can take place.  Afterwards, a gesture to close the window is provided and a gesture to the driver to pull away is given.  At no time during the process do test administrators converse with those in vehicles.  Results are provided within two to four days, said the county official.  All vehicular traffic awaiting testing is contained in the parking lot at Kean University.

“There’s a great need, not just in Union County, but across the state,” said Oatman.  “This is a service we can provide to county residents to get their test without going to the hospital.”

Oatman said the site is supported by Union County police and Sheriff’s officers and Union County Prosecutors Office personnel.

The Freeholder Board, County Manager and his staff worked with State Senators Joseph P. Cryan, Nicholas P. Scutari, Governor Phil Murphy’s office, Kean University, and the New Jersey State Department of Health in bringing the facility online.