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Middletown COVID testing site initially turns people away after thinking it reached capacity

Officials sent out an alert just after 2 p.m. to notify people about the full capacity -- one hour before the testing was scheduled to begin.

News 12 Staff

Dec 31, 2021, 2:22 AM

Updated 899 days ago

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Officials at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Middletown turned people away after the site hit capacity for the day Thursday.
The drive-thru testing site at the Middletown train station believed it reached its maximum capacity even before it opened.
Officials sent out an alert just after 2 p.m. to notify people about the full capacity -- one hour before the testing was scheduled to begin.
Testing normally runs between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursday, and when the site reached capacity, some people were sent home.
People had been lining up as early as 12 p.m. and waited between two to four hours.
Emergency Management Coordinator Charles Rogers said the situation changed once they realized they hadn’t reached full capacity and they allowed more people to get tested.
“When we said we were at capacity, we didn’t know that the situation was going to change,” Rogers said. “We’re sorry for that, but that was out of our control.”
Many residents said nearby testing sites were hard to come by or there were long wait times.
"We don't have anything out here right now. There's no testing anywhere," said Jaime Burulia, of Atlantic Highlands. She got in line at the Middletown train station testing site at noon to ensure she'd get tested.
Burulia had to be tested before she returned to work and waited almost five hours.
"I've been out of work for four days and I need to get back to work," Burulia said. "I'm the manager at Sonic in Middletown and I can't jeopardize the kids."
Others who waited shared similar stories of getting in line early to lock in a spot. Some of them said they were getting tested because they were with family over Christmas and wanted to be sure they were free of the virus.
"We were in Maryland, so someone else tested down there so that's why we're here," said resident Keith Hillers.
The Township and Immediate Care, who worked in partnership with the testing, said they will announce extended testing hours for next week once it is confirmed.
SEARCH FOR A CURE: Statistics and State Resources


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