Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice President Wayne Richardson announced that testing for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 will continue in Essex County Weequahic Park. Three additional dates have been scheduled for Monday, April 20; Wednesday, April 22 and Friday, April 24. Screenings are for Essex County residents only who are symptomatic of the coronavirus and are by appointment only. They will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 noon; 250 tests will be available each day. Residents must arrive by car.
There are still a significant number of people who submitted a registration for an earlier testing date and were placed on a waiting list. Their information has been kept on file and those placed on the waiting list will be given an appointment to get tested at Weequahic Park in the order their registration was accepted. Residents will be provided with a confirmation number which they must bring with them to their appointment. New registrations will be accepted when the waiting list is exhausted.
“We are pleased to be able to offer additional dates to allow more residents to be tested for the Coronavirus. Testing is the most effective way to determine if a person has the virus and will help us get a handle on how far-reaching it has become,” DiVincenzo, Gill and Richardson said in a joint statement. “We continue to urge our residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, which include practicing social distancing, washing their hands and staying indoors. We are in a public health crisis and the actions we take today will help reduce the virus’ impact,” they said.
The screenings are being offered to Essex County residents only who are symptomatic of COVID-19. This means anyone wishing to be tested must meet specific testing criteria, which includes a fever of at least 99.6 degrees and respiratory symptoms of shortness of breath. Appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Those who do not meet the criteria were not given an appointment. If you are exhibiting severe symptoms, please contact your local health care provider or local health department for guidance.
Tests are being offered free of charge to Essex County residents. Having health insurance is not a requirement. Follow up contact will be made to assess the continuing health of the person who completed the screening.
Medical personnel from RWJBarnabas Health System, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, University Hospital, Hackensack Hospital, Essex County Hospital and nurses from public schools in Essex County are staffing the testing sites and call-in center. NJIT has provided personal protective equipment (face shields). Security at the site is being provided by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office and Newark Police Department.
“We thank the nurses, law enforcement officers and first responders who have stepped up to the front lines by working at our testing site. We appreciate their professionalism and for making our site run smoothly and efficiently,” DiVincenzo, Gill and Richardson said.
Essex County will continue to administer the virus screening as long as supplies of test kits, gowns, facial masks and gloves last.
Residents can help stop the spread of novel coronavirus by washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer after touching hard surfaces, staying home if they feel sick, practicing social distancing and avoiding spending any time in crowds of people. Residents are also reminded to adhere to restrictions enacted by Governor Phil Murphy, which include a curfew between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. and restrict their traveling unless it is absolutely necessary.