TOMS RIVER – Beginning January 11, the testing hours at the Ocean County College COVID-19 drive thru testing site will change.
“As we monitor the testing, we know we can efficiently provide the same number of tests we do over the course of a week now while scaling back some of the days,” said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. “This will allow us to begin staffing preparations as we plan the opening of additional coronavirus vaccination clinics in the County.”
The COVID-19 testing site will now be open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made by visiting OCHD.org.
Approximately 400 tests can now be administered per day with this expansion of time increasing the number of appointments.
According to Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little, more than 21,000 tests have been administered at the college site with almost 300 done on January 7.
“This site, since it opened in March, has been run proficiently and professionally, providing these important tests for our county residents,” Little said. “We have closely monitored the needs and consistently adjusted the hours of testing at the college to accommodate our residents.”
The OCC testing site offers tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic Ocean County residents by appointment.
To schedule an appointment for a test, Ocean County residents can visit the Ocean County Health Department website at ochd.org. If residents have any questions, they can call the Health Department at 732-341-9700, Ext. 7411. Proof of residency will be required. All emergency responders can also access testing at the site.
“Testing shows if you have the virus even if you are asymptomatic,” Regenye said. “This can help reduce the spread of the virus so long as people quarantine. We have always encouraged our residents to get tested.”
Regenye stated how the demand for testing has started to decrease slightly since the 2020 holiday season ended.
“At the Ocean County College testing site, residents remain in their cars and medical personnel perform a nasal swab,” Little noted. “We have worked to make this convenient and more importantly safe for the public, the health care providers on site and staff.
“Since opening we have met all the demand for tests and we will continue to do so,” Little said. “We have turned no one away.”
Tests take approximately three to five days for results to be returned.
“All the results will be available on the BioReference Laboratories Patient Portal: Bioreference.com/patients/ and through the Ocean County Health Department residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative,” Regenye said.
Fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of COVID-19. Ocean County has also created a process to ensure that people with test results are informed in a timely manner and provided with guidance, consultation and next steps.
Ocean County officials are urging everyone to take the steps necessary to diminish the virus including wearing a mask, social distancing, frequent handwashing and staying home when sick.
“By changing hours at the testing site, we can prepare staff scheduling for new vaccination clinics as they open,” Regenye said.
The COVID-19 vaccination site at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North is ran by the Ocean County Health Department. Vaccinations are available at the location by appointment only for paid and unpaid health care workers, and also police and firefighters.