Bayonne Medical Center, a CarePoint Health hospital, began drive-thru testing of Bayonne residents on March 26, by referral only. However, that expanded to include Bayonne first responders and healthcare workers starting April 1.
The testing site is located at Don Ahern Veterans Stadium, opening daily in Veterans Park behind Bayonne High School at 669 Avenue A. The stadium will be closed each day that testing occurs, weekdays from 10 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m.
During the testing, authorized scripted patients can drive up and be tested, while remaining in their cars throughout the entire process. No testing will occur outside any vehicle.
Because of the limited availability of screening tests, the procedure is only for patients scheduled for COVID-19 screening by CarePoint doctors. Only motorists with a valid prescription from a CarePoint doctor and an appointment will be admitted.
Residents are advised not to come without an appointment and script from their doctors.
Only symptomatic patients will be tested. If more tests became available, CarePoint will begin more widespread testing.
Now that more tests are available, the pool of residents who are eligible to be tested has expanded to include first responders and healthcare workers. According to the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM), more test kits are expected to arrive in the city the week of April 6.
Upon receipt of the test kits, the next step would include the expansion of COVID-19 testing to patients of all doctors in Bayonne.
However, OEM stated that the city will not start testing asymptomatic people anytime soon. Only those with symptoms will be tested.
Veteran’s Stadium is in a residential area on Avenue A, lined with traditional box homes. The site may raise questions among locals regarding traffic and the spread of the virus.
Despite the proximity to residential areas, OEM said there is no cause for concern for residents who lives near Veteran’s Stadium.
According to OEM, medical professionals have confirmed that residents cannot contract COVID-19 from someone driving past their houses. OEM noted that there won’t be lines of cars in any residential areas.
OEM advised residents to stay home and remain calm as the number of cases of COVID-19 in Bayonne continues to climb in the coming days.
“Obviously, the number of positive cases is still on the rise, so numbers will continue to increase before they go down,” according to a statement from OEM. “Practice social distancing.”
Residents are advised not to visit the drive-thru testing site at Veterans Stadium without an appointment.
If you have seen a doctor and they advise you that you may have COVID-19 but the doctor will not test you, then you should treat yourself as a positive case and self-isolate at home, according to Bayonne OEM.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.