OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITE SCHEDULED TO OPEN MONDAY, MARCH 30; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION FOR CORONAVIRUS TEST NEEDED FOR OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE TESTING SITE
March 26, 2020
REGISTRATION UNDER WAY FOR DRIVE THRU OCEAN COUNTY CORONAVIRUS TESTING CENTER
March 27, 2020

Ocean County will open its coronavirus drive thru testing site at Ocean County College at 9 a.m. Monday, March 30 to Ocean County residents that must be registered to be tested and must have a doctor’s prescription for the test.

To register for the coronavirus test visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org and follow the online directions.

For more information on COVID 19 call the Ocean County Health Department hotline at 732-341-9700, Ext.7411.

“We want these tests to run as smoothly as possible for our residents and the staff that will be onsite doing the tests. This will help insure everyone’s safety,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, who serves as the Coordinator of the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, which is overseeing the site. “I encourage everyone to follow the requirement to have a doctor’s prescription for the test, to register for the test and to have proper identification once you come to the site.

“If you haven’t registered and if you don’t have a doctor’s prescription we cannot provide you with a test. I cannot stress this enough,” he said.

Residents should enter the site from the college’s Hooper Avenue entrance. The site is scheduled to be open until 3 p.m. daily and will run weather permitting.

Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye said it’s imperative residents have a doctor’s prescription for the test in order to prevent them from being turned away.

“We are not going to do any health screening at the site,” he said. “It is just for testing for the virus.”

Ocean County residents who are showing signs of the virus or who have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus should contact their doctor immediately to see if they need to be tested.

“If you can be tested elsewhere before we open the site I would strongly urge you to do so,” Regenye said.

“This testing site for Ocean County residents is the result of the combined efforts of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, the Ocean County Health Department, Ocean County College, RWJ Barnabas Health Southern Region and Hackensack Meridian Health,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “The drive thru testing site will help with our large senior population and those residents who have been advised to be tested for the coronavirus.”

The site will operate daily as long as coronavirus tests continue to be available.

“A testing site on the campus of Ocean County College is an extraordinarily important step which will make testing more accessible to Ocean County residents who perhaps need it the most – senior citizens and others at higher risk. Currently, testing is a prerequisite for certain medicines including remdesivir and the sooner people can get tests and results the more options they will have for treatment,” said Rep. Smith, who represents several towns in northern Ocean County. In particular, Smith thanked Freeholder Director Joe Vicari, County Health Department Liaison Freeholder Gerry Little and all the Freeholders, Sheriff Mastronardy for their foresight and responsiveness, and noted the hard work of the health department staff to properly stand up the new site.

The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department is providing security and traffic control at the site and the staff from the 4 county based hospitals and Ocean County Health department will be administering the test at the drive thru site.

“The testing site is being overseen by the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management,” Mastronardy said “We are working closely with all other agencies involved to make certain everything goes smoothly.”

“Residents will remain in their cars and medical personnel will perform a nasal swab,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Health Department. “We are working to make this convenient and more importantly safe for the public, the health care providers on site and staff.”

Once the test has been performed, it’s anticipated to take about three to five days for results to be returned.

“All the results will be available on the BioReference Laboratories Patient Portal: Bioreference.com/patients/ and Ocean County Health Department and residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative,” Regenye said.

Ocean County has entered into a contract with BioReference Laboratories for the first 1,000 coronavirus test kits to be used at the site. The county’s contract is independent of the state’s contract with the company.

“With the help and guidance of Congressman Smith we will be assisted by Quest Diagnostics for some supplemental testing kits,” Vicari said. “Congressman Smith has been making every effort to get us what we need at this site. We are grateful for his help.”

The most common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath.

Health experts say individuals not experiencing any signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness are discouraged from being tested as it diverts resources away from those who need it most, floods the laboratory with specimens unlikely to test positive and provides individuals with a false sense of security when the results come back negative.

“We are doing everything we can to have safeguards in place to protect the nurses and medical personnel on site and the public coming to be tested,” Mastronardy said. “We strongly urge the public to adhere to the requirements we have established.”

Ocean County will also establish a process to ensure that people with test results are informed in a timely manner and provided with guidance, consultation and next steps.