The drive-through coronavirus testing site will move from Ocean County College to the county’s fire training center in Waretown, officials announced Thursday.
Starting the week of April 20, testing will be completed at the Ocean County Fire and First Aid Training Center, Volunteer Way, (off Route 9) in Waretown.
“Starting April 20, we are moving from the parking lot at Ocean County College to a more secure structure that will be more helpful to the hospital workers and other staff that will be administering the test,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, Coordinator for the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.
Mastronardy said thee training center also provides an indoor drive thru area so it is not subject to bad weather conditions which resulted in the postponement of Monday’s (April 13) appointments at the college, as well as damage to some of the tents that had been placed there.
“This new site will be beneficial for both the residents being tested and the hospital staff providing the tests,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “It provides an enclosed area that is more efficient for everyone.”
The test requirements have not changed; a prescription is still required before a test can be administered and all those tested must be Ocean County residents.
Test appointments are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and are scheduled in advance for Ocean County residents. The site is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
So far, a total of 1,955 Ocean County citizens were tested for the coronavirus at the college testing site. Of those tests, 1,574 results have been returned. Just under 30 percent of the tests have been positive. All appointments for Friday, April 17, which are still at the college, are filled.
Residents can start to book appointments with the Health Department at www.ochd.org for the Training Center test site starting at 3 p.m., Friday, April 17.
“Because of the limited number of tests we have, it still remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the training center,” Regenye said. “We do not want anyone to show up at this testing site without following the requirements we have put in place. We are not going to do any health screenings at the site. It is just for testing for the virus.”
Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding residents of the requirements to be tested include:
- You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification.
- You must have a healthcare practitioner script.
- You must make an online appointment at ochd.org.
- You must be symptomatic.
Regenye said that any practitioner (including Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant etc.) who has “prescriptive” privileges in New Jersey can write a script for COVID testing, it does not necessarily have to be a physician.
Prescriptions can be written via telemedicine provided by the hospital systems which service the county:
- Hackensack Meridian Health (Ocean Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center) https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/
- RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System (Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus/Kimball Medical Center) RWJBHtelemed.org use code RWJBH15
All the results will be available on the BioReference Laboratories Patient Portal: Bioreference.com/patients/ and through the Ocean County Health Department residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative, Regenye said.