New COVID-19 testing site at Veterans Stadium

Residents can walk up or drive up to the stadium's parking lot

Officials cut the ribbon on Feb. 23, opening the new COVID-19 testing site at Veterans Stadium.
×
Officials cut the ribbon on Feb. 23, opening the new COVID-19 testing site at Veterans Stadium.

A drive-up COVID-19 testing site will open in the parking lot behind Don Ahern Veterans Stadium near the foot of West 25th Street, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The site is in partnership with Immediate Care-Walk In Co. of Red Bank. Walk-up testing will also be available.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, testing will be from 1 to 7 p.m.; on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointments needed. For more information, go online to Immediate Care at immcare.com.

“It is important for Bayonne residents to have the option of drive-up and walk-up Coronavirus testing,” said Mayor James Davis.

Mobile unit

This is Immediate Care’s first mobile testing site in Hudson County, with no out-of-pocket cost to residents. It’s a retrofitted shipping container.

Immediate Care is responsible for setup, maintenance, and break-down of the site. Primary contacts will be Immediate Care personnel. Immediate Care serves hundreds of people a day at mobile units in Middletown, Marlboro, East Windsor, and Old Bridge.

Testing requires driver’s licenses and insurance cards. Uninsured people should provide a Social Security card or number and will be covered through the federal government.

Drive or walk to the northern entrance of the parking lot, in lanes set up with cones. A self-administered saliva test or staff-administered nasal test are available. Results in 48 to 72 hours.

People walk their specimens to a container and fill out paperwork. Total time is just a few minutes. Departure is through the southern exit.

Testing at Bayonne Medical Center and at the Bayonne Community Museum have ended.

Storage container testing sites

Many more of these testing sites are in the works, said Immediate Care CEO Sal Cannizzaro. They open quickly and can accommodate up to 300 tests a day, without appointments.

“If someone is suspected of having COVID, we send them to the mobile testing center first for nasal or saliva PCR tests,” Cannizzaro said. “If the tests are negative, then we can accommodate them at Immediate Care. It is an effective way to keep our patients safe, while serving the incredible ongoing demand for COVID testing.”

According to Cannizzaro, the mobile sites attract asymptomatic people who need testing to return to work or school, to travel, to have surgery, to visit relatives, and for a host of other reasons.

“COVID tests take 10 minutes to do,” Cannizzaro said. “People don’t need to enter a full-service urgent care clinic where they can potentially infect others or be infected. The mobile centers are ideal, with testing done safely, and people in and out quickly.”

Cannizzaro said he has access to “acres and acres” of unused shipping containers, which he is now buying or leasing from three distribution centers, in Woodbridge, Chicago, and Baytown, TX.

The standard size is 20 feet long by 8 feet wide, with four testing rooms. The mobile sites can be retrofitted for a variety of uses.

“We can make these as step-down, critical-care units by connecting the containers or using larger ones,” Cannizzaro said. “The customizing is really endless. We paint them. We insulate them. We bring electricity and water to them. We panel the entire interior and ceiling with high gloss, vinyl, medical-grade washable panels and cover the floors with epoxy. We install HVAC systems and negative air pressure with exhaust fans. By the time we are done, patients have no idea they are sitting in a former shipping container.”

From testing to vaccination

Cannizzaro said the next logical step is to use them as mass vaccination centers. He envisions thousands set up throughout New Jersey, and many more across the country, as the federal government ramps up a never-before-seen effort to vaccinate the masses in a few short months.

The containers can be dropped off by a flatbed truck and be fully operational in a few short days, powered by generators. Potential customers could be government entities at all levels, eager to provide testing and vaccinations as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

“Right now, we are working with many more municipalities in northern New Jersey as we try to keep up with the demand,” said Cannizzaro, noting he has retained a leasing agent, R.J. Brunelli & Co. of Old Bridge. “We see an immediate and ongoing need for more and more of these mobile sites into 2022.”

For more information, go to MobileHealthSolution.com.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.