OCEAN COUNTY – The demand for personnel to administer vaccines has caused the Ocean County Health Department to have coronavirus testing be done at one location by Immediate Care.
The county has been running a test site at Ocean County College in Toms River since March of 2020. It used to be an outside, drive-through service. Now it is indoors at the Gateway Building. Testing hours for Ocean County residents will continue to be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The change will go into effect on Friday, March 26.
“Making this change from Ocean County Health Department and hospital personnel will help us as we begin to expand our vaccination clinic capacity throughout the County,” said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. “We have been working in close coordination with the Ocean County Board of Commissioners to make this transition.”
Since it is under a different operation, scheduling an appointment is now through solvhealth.com/book-online/gNNVXg. Identification and insurance cards should be brought to the testing site.
The site tests people with or without symptoms. It does not administer vaccines. Proof of residency and appointments are 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 said.
There are other testing site locations listed here: covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing and covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing#test-sites.
Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, said that almost 30,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered at the college site since it opened.
“This testing site has been run efficiently, 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. I appreciate the efforts of all the agencies involved in running this site.”
Regenye said the health department staff and hospital staff that had been performing the tests will now be moved to future COVID-19 vaccination clinics operated by the Ocean County Health Department.
“We continue our planning of new clinic sites in addition to reviewing a host of opportunities to get our residents and in particular our seniors vaccinated,” said Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn. “Having staff available is key once we start to see an increase in the number of vaccines we are getting from the state.
“That number remains at about 3,000 per week to our health department,” he said. “We are optimistic that will change in the near future and we will see those numbers increase.”
As of March 23, Ocean County has recorded more than 57,000 cases of the coronavirus.
County residents can call 732-380-5079 or 1-833-544-0288 if they have general questions about the coronavirus, exposure, quarantine and spread, contact tracing, testing and the vaccine.