The Ocean County Health Department today has reported 70 new cases of COVID-19, showing an increasing daily trend this week as numbers in the county begin to rise to levels not seen since mid-May. The last time the county reported 70 new cases was back on May 31st. In Lakewood alone, there were 112 newly reported cases in the past 5 days. Jackson Township has also seen a spike in cases with 12 new cases. That’s the highest daily total for Jackson since May 14th. 4 new COVID-19 deaths were reported today, raising that number to 9 in the past few days after not reporting a single death during an 11 day period in August.
Today, the Ocean County Health Department announced that the Ocean County College testing facility will reduce their hours starting next week.
The new hours, starting the week of Sept. 7, will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The site, however, will be closed Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Even though the site is now providing tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic County residents, appointments are still required.
“We continue to adjust the schedule to meet the needs of the public and also the staff. The time adjustment provides a better testing environment for the nurses administering the tests at the site,” said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. “As we look our overall daily testing numbers, we have decided to cut back the testing by one hour, but we will continue to assess the situation as we move forward.”
Since July 6, Ocean County residents who do not show signs of the novel coronavirus have been able to get tested at the OCC drive thru.
“We have been providing tests to asymptomatic residents in order to increase testing opportunities in the community,” Regenye said. “We no longer require a script from a healthcare practitioner at the college drive thru, however appointments are still required.”
To schedule an appointment for a test Ocean County residents can visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org. If residents have any questions, they can call the Health Department at 732-341-9700, Ext. 7411. Proof of residency will be required. All emergency responders can also access testing at the site.
To date, 8,481 coronavirus tests have been performed at the college testing site.
“This site has been the result of a successful partnership with the college, our area hospitals, Sheriff Michael Mastronardy and the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, the Ocean County Health Department and a host of other collaborators who have come together to make this work for our citizens,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “By opening it up to people that are asymptomatic we have increased the number of people that can be tested in the County.”
Regenye noted there are other locations and testing sites for asymptomatic people that have opened throughout the state with some located in Ocean County.