COVID-19 testing, vaccinations to be offered at federal site in East Orange
Gov. Phil Murphy toured a federal COVID-19 testing site Friday that is set to open in East Orange this weekend.
The site, which is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is set to open at 90 Halstead St. at 7 a.m. Saturday. Murphy said it will be able to administer at least 1,000 tests per day.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in New Jersey has quadrupled in two weeks. As of Friday, there were over 28,000 new confirmed cases.
Both the governor and the Commissioner of the Health Department Judy Persichilli urged residents to get tested and vaccinated — two things this federal site will offer.
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“The best way that we can get a handle on this phase of the pandemic is through testing,” Murphy said. “While you're at it, commit to starting off 2022 by getting vaccinated if you have not yet done so, or getting your booster shot if you've been putting that off.”
The number of children contracting COVID-19 and being hospitalized is also up. The state is seeing the highest number of pediatric patients in a year.
As result, some school districts have chosen to extend winter break, but there are no statewide plans for a full return to virtual learning.
"We believe we have the protocols in place to keep both the kids, the educators and staff healthy and we're going to continue to do that," Murphy said.
As the demand for COVID-19 testing continues to rise, the state is also seeing a rise in the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests. Murphy said the state will ensure that those who are price gauging at-home testing kits will be held accountable.
Although several towns have started mandating mask wearing indoors, Murphy made no mention of a possible statewide mask mandate.
As for the testing site, it's scheduled to be open from Jan 1. to Jan 14. This could change depending on the need in the state. The site will begin to offer vaccinations on Jan. 3.
The hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until the capacity is met for the day.
Residents who wish to be tested have to be registered to ensure that there's a test available for them. Otherwise, they can register at the site, but may or may not be seen that day.
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