Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – A steady flow of people made their way through the Ocean County College drive thru coronavirus testing site during its opening day.
And when the site closed at 3 p.m., 126 residents were tested for Covid 19.
"Things are moving along smoothly," said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. "We anticipate the same will happen as we move through the rest of the week."
Regenye noted 166 people have been tested at the site so far including 40 first responders and health care workers done prior to the site opening to the public.
Appointments were scheduled in advanced for Ocean County residents on Monday – the first day the testing site was open.
"Our appointments are booked for Tuesday," Regenye said. "But there are openings yet for Wednesday through Friday of this week. Because of the limited number of tests we have it remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the college."
"We do not want anyone to show up at this testing site without following the requirements we have put in place," he said. "We are not going to do any health screenings at the site. It is just for testing for the virus."
There are now 954 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ocean County, not including anyone tested today.
Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding residents of the requirements to be tested include:
• You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification.
• You must have a physician's prescription
• You must make an online appointment at www.ochd.org.
• You must be symptomatic.
• You should enter the Ocean County College campus from the Hooper Avenue entrance.
Regenye said that any practitioner (including Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant etc.) who has "prescriptive" privileges in New Jersey can write a script for COVID testing, it does not necessarily have to be a physician.
In addition, Regenye stressed that with many health care providers currently doing telemedicine, individuals do not need to see a physician in person to obtain the necessary script.
"Many health care providers are now doing telemedicine and are offering this service remotely and in the spirit of social distancing," Regenye said. "Please do not unnecessarily expose healthcare workers or others in an attempt to obtain a physician's order. Please use telemedicine when appropriate during this challenging time."
The hospitals assisting in staffing the testing site - both Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System - have telemedicine opportunities to assist Ocean County residents obtain the required physician script before traveling to the testing center.
The telemedicine services at the hospitals can be accessed at:
? Hackensack Meridian Health (Ocean Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center) https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/
? RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System (Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus) www.RWJBHtelemed.org use code RWJBH15
"I want to extend my appreciation to all of the residents going through the site. I know this is difficult for them but they are following the requirements and that insures 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. "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."
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said this site is helpful for the many seniors living in Ocean County and all those with underlying conditions as they are more vulnerable to the more dangerous symptoms of the virus.
"Ocean County is home to almost 200,000 seniors, we want to work with that population and all of our residents with symptoms to get them tested, he said.
Partners in the testing site include U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management under Sheriff Mastronardy, the Ocean County Health Department, Ocean County College, RWJ Barnabas Health Southern Region and Hackensack Meridian Health.
The site will operate daily from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as long as coronavirus tests continue to be available and also weather permitting.
"Residents remain in their cars and medical personnel 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.
The most common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath.
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.