Jersey City will expand free COVID-19 testing to all residents, with mobile testing brought directly to the city’s most vulnerable in senior living and public housing sites, to increases access and minimize public transit use during the pandemic.
Jersey City will also expand and provide testing to residents who request it even if they do not show symptoms, according to Mayor Steven Fulop.
“We believe expanding our testing is important to getting our local economy back,” Fulop tweeted. “We will also be putting our most vulnerable communities and front line workers on regular testing rotations to both keep them safe and also to identify potential larger clusters earlier.”
As of April 29, COVID-19 has infected 5,329 Jersey City residents, and 285 residents have lost their lives due to the virus.
Antibody testing soon
According to Fulop, the administration will also soon offer antibody testing.
This testing is the latest step to moving Jersey City forward to cautiously enable residents and businesses to start the recovery process. The antibody tests are key identifiers that health experts say will enable healthcare workers, first responders, city employees, and residents to return to work, to their families, or to take care of loved ones in need.
“Absent a vaccine or treatment, testing is currently one of the few proven effective ways to slow and track the spread of this virus, which is why we’ve taken the initiative to be aggressive in our approach to protect our residents,” Fulop said. “We’re at a point where seven weeks into this we have a better understanding, and our residents can use their test results responsibly to slow the pace and reduce risks not only for their immediate friends and family, but also for the community overall.”
As the first to offer free city-run Coronavirus testing, this past month Jersey City has tested more than 8,000 people, including those who are sick, front-line workers, first responders, supermarket employees, and all city nursing home residents and staff.
“As one of the most densely populated areas in the region, our efforts to make free testing available have proven effective,” said Director of Health and Human Services Stacey Flanagan. “Now we want to extend testing to as many people as possible, and adding antibody testing will really bolster the expansive health and safety efforts we’ve put in place since day one.”
Appointment-based testing will open to all Jersey City residents beginning May 4.
Anyone requesting a test can call the COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 201-547-5535 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Testing will continue Monday through Friday at the drive-through site in the southwest portion of the city at 575 NJ-440.
To expand access to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, the walk-up testing site will operate on a rotating schedule.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, the walk-up testing site will be outside Public Safety Headquarters at 465 Marin Blvd.
On Tuesdays, mobile testing will take place at various Jersey City Housing Authority locations.
On Thursdays, mobile testing will take place at various senior living facilities.
On Fridays, testing will take place at the Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center at 140 MLK Dr.
“Expanding testing is crucial as we work toward moving our city forward to allow people and the economy to start recovering,” Fulop said.