NJ testing sites to divert to further focus on health care workers

Posted: 3:58 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 17:37:57-04
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TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey is changing the hours of operation at the FEMA-run coronavirus drive-thru testing sites located at Bergen County Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center.

This Saturday, both sites will be open to symptomatic first responders and healthcare workers only. Starting Sunday, the two sites will alternate days they are open, with Bergen open one day and PNC the next. Each site will increase the total amount of testing done per day to 500 samples from 350 samples, amid reports of long lines and some even camping out overnight.

Beginning on Saturday April 4 and on every Saturday after that, PNC Bank Arts Center will be open to symptomatic healthcare workers and first responders only.

"The general public will not be able to access those sites this Saturday," said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

The news comes amid the biggest one-day gain of positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey to date: 2,492 positives to report today for a total of 6,876 statewide. The death toll now stands at 81.

Over 90% of private labs are now reporting their test results to the state. A total of 19,364 tests have been performed, with about one-third of them coming back positive.

Governor Murphy stated today that he won't revisit the possibility of schools reopening until April 17th at the earliest.

He was also asked about the federal aide package passed by Congress today and how some lawmakers have criticized it as shortchanging New Jersey’s immense need to recover.

"We are now working around the clock to get a full accounting of what and how much is in the federal stimulus bill for our state and for our families. As I said yesterday, it is a very good step in right direction, let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. But I also want to reiturate what I said yesteday, we will undoubtedly need more assistance. I'm not going to start pushing for that," said the Governor.

Murphy called the federal stimulus a first step in the right direction. But said the state will likely need billions more in aide dollars.