OCEAN COUNTY’S COVID- 19 drive thru test site at Ocean County College, Toms River, will continue to provide testing to County residents the week of July 13 but with earlier hours.
Tests will be done during the hours of 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Even though the site is now providing tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic County residents, appointments are still required.
“The time schedule is being adjusted to help provide a better testing work environment for the nurses administering the tests at the site,” said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. “The summer heat and humidity combined with having to wear layers of personal protective equipment (PPE) while testing people outside at the drive thru is creating less then suitable conditions for the dedicated nurses. We want to take advantage of lower temperatures during the early daytime hours that we are there.”
On July 6, Ocean County residents who did not show signs of the novel coronavirus were able to get tested at the OCC drive thru.
“We are now providing tests to asymptomatic residents in order to increase testing opportunities in the community,” Regenye said. “We are no longer requiring 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, 5,798 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 are increasing 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.
Two websites providing this information are: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing and https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing#test-sites.
Partners in the testing site at OCC include U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management under Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, the Ocean County Health Department, RWJ Barnabas Health Southern Region and Hackensack Meridian Health and Ocean County College.
“Residents remain in their cars and medical personnel perform a nasal swab at the OCC site,” 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 through the Ocean County Health Department residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative,” Regenye said.
The most common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Ocean County has also established a process to ensure that people with test results are informed in a timely manner and provided with guidance, consultation and next steps.