LUMBERTON, NJ – Assemblyman Ryan Peters and Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield called for an immediate executive order that would allow New Jersey residents to obtain at-home coronavirus testing kits.
New Jersey is one of four states in the country that has laws prohibiting testing with at-home kits, including New York, Rhode Island and Maryland.
“We need to begin to reopen the economy, piece by piece, and every expert has said the way to do that is with increased testing. At-home testing could be the safest and most logistically sound way to get to where we need to be,” Peters said.
“Governor Murphy should quickly lift our state’s restrictions on these tests, so that once they are available, we can aggressively push them out. At-home swab testing could be the key to opening up and staying open. We need to be at the forefront of this, and I’m confident we soon will be,” Peters continued.
The FDA authorized the first coronavirus test kit that allows people to collect their own sample at home, last week. LabCorp created the self-swab, at-home test and said it will make the test available in the coming weeks. However, they will not be made available in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Maryland because of their state regulations, according to various news outlets reporting on the tests.
“At-home testing eliminates the need to go to a doctor’s office, it syncs up perfectly with the expansion of telemedicine and it alleviates crowding at public testing sites,” Stanfield said. “This would also help cover our main blindspot, which is asymptomatic people. Once we have more knowledge on the scope of asymptomatic people, mildly symptomatic people or people with antibodies, we may see that it is safe to allow certain groups of people out of lockdown and get our economy back on its feet for the summer.”
The LabCorp test is reported to cost $119 and may be covered by healthcare providers. The test is a cotton swab to the nose, and collection tubes are then sent back to LabCorp where results are posted on a secure company website.
Peters and Stanfield plan to introduce legislation to ease New Jersey’s regulatory restrictions on at-home testing, but are asking for the Governor’s support in streamlining this process with an executive order.