TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the opening of a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard.
Starting on Monday, March 23rd, the drive-thru testing center will be open seven days per week, beginning at 8:00 a.m. until supplies last. Gates will not open until 8:00 a.m. and individuals will not be permitted to line up along the Garden State Parkway. The PNC Bank Arts Center Commuter Lots will be closed. In order to be eligible for testing, individuals must be current New Jersey residents and experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Priority will be given to symptomatic individuals experiencing cough, fever (99.6F or above) and shortness of breath.
“We have had great success in testing over 1,000 individuals in just two days at our Community-Based Testing Site in Bergen County,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Through our partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, we are able to open a second drive-thru location in Central Jersey, which is an important step in dramatically ramping up our testing capabilities throughout the state. Expanding access to testing is vital in flattening the curve and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey.”
“If you have symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, or cough you should be tested,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Those with underlying medical conditions and those who are 65 and older who have symptoms are particularly at risk for more severe illness and should be tested.”
“The opening of the Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center will provide New Jersey’s residents with an accessible location to be tested for COVID-19, which is an essential component in our efforts to identify individuals who have the virus and essentially slow it’s spread and flatten the curve,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We ask the public to help us by staying home and adhering to social distancing recommendations as we continue to work with our state and local partners during this difficult time.”
“In the battle against COVID-19 our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen stand ready to serve our fellow residents,” said Brig. Gen. Jemal J. Beale, The Adjutant General and Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The New Jersey National Guard is fully capable to assist other state agencies in the operation of drive-thru testing sites.”
Community-Based Testing Sites are for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Individuals who are not symptomatic will not be tested, as it diverts critical resources such as testing kits and laboratory materials from those who are ill. Each site will be provided with an allocation of 2,500 specimen collection kits and Personal Protective Equipment for all staff. The specimen collections will be transmitted to the contracted laboratory twice per day and results will be reported within 2-5 business days. Testing is free and will be covered by the federal government or personal insurance company. Individuals are encouraged to bring insurance cards if they have one.