Drive through coronavirus testing facility to open by Friday in Bergen County

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State officials say that a mass drive through coronavirus testing facility is expected to open in Bergen County on Friday.

 
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The testing site will open at Bergen Community College. A second testing site is expected to open at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel next week.

Officials made the announcement on Wednesday while also confirming two more deaths in the state relating to the outbreak. There are five deaths overall. It was also announced that there are 162 new cases of the virus – 427 cases overall. Cases of COVID-19 nearly doubled since Tuesday.

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“This is increasing with a pretty steep curve as we expected,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the state is preparing for an even larger swell of patients, which could overwhelm state hospitals. The commissioner said that 260 hospital beds spread statewide would be ready by the end of Wednesday. She said that 227 more beds will be ready in three or four weeks.

The Health Department will also reopen Underwood Memorial Hospital in Gloucester County to open up another 300 beds. But Persichilli said that even that may not be enough.

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“There are predictions that many parts of the United States will have far too few hospital beds if the new coronavirus continues to spread,” Persichilli said.

Of the two patients who died this week – a woman from Essex County and a woman from Hudson County – officials said that both were over 60 years old and had underlying health issues.

“We’re involved in something that’s bigger than oneself and that’s what we’re doing right now. I can’t emphasize that enough,” Murphy said.

Social distancing measure like banning gatherings of over 50 people and shutting down malls, schools and movie theaters remains in place. The governor said that additional closures could come as the virus spreads.

“Unequivocally, everything is on the table. But no decision has been made,” Murphy said.

NJ211 has been activated and any New Jerseyan with questions or concerns about the virus can call 2-1-1. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 for text information.

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