TOMS RIVER – The drive thru COVID-19 testing site at Ocean County College has moved indoors due to winter weather.
Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye said, “we have moved the testing indoors to the Gateway Building on the Ocean County College campus. Even though we have recently installed a stronger structure for our staff and volunteers providing these tests, the winter weather we have been experiencing has made it difficult to perform these tests outside in a drive thru setting.”
The site is operating from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Appointments are required. The health department and its partners can administer about 400 tests each day the site is open.
Regenye added, “we have 400 appointments that have been made for today at the testing site.” The greatest changs at the site is that anyone getting tested needs to park their car and enter building 101 in the campus for the test.
“All the paperwork for the test should already be completed during the online registration so the testing will not take any longer than it has when people did not leave their cars,” Regenye said. By moving the testing inside, the staff is no longer braving the elements which sometimes include cold temperatures, snow, rain, sleet and strong winds.
Regenye said, “this move was made to protect the staff and our volunteers. We expect once the weather gets better moving toward the spring we will go back to the drive thru setting.”
Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little serves as the liaison to the Ocean County Health Department. He noted that more than 26,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed at the college site since it began operating.
Ocean County has recorded close to 50,000 cases of the coronavirus since March of 2020. “This testing site has been run efficiently, providing these important tests for our County residents,” Little said.
The Commissioner added, “we have closely monitored the needs and consistently adjusted the hours of testing at the college to accommodate our residents.”
The testing site located off of Hooper Avenue in Toms River provides tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic County residents by appointment. It does not provide the COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule an appointment for a test, 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 is required. All emergency responders can also access testing at the site.
Regenye said, “testing shows if you have the virus even if you are asymptomatic. This can help reduce the spread of the virus so long as people quarantine.
He noted that the OCHD has always encouraged County residents to get tested.
“The testing site at OCC is the result of a successful partnership with the college, our area hospitals, Sheriff Michael Mastronardy and the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, the Ocean County Health Department and a host of other collaborators who have come together to make this work for our citizens,” said the Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn. “All of the steps that we have taken thus far are to protect our citizens by helping to reduce the spread of this virus.”
Residents can also call 732-380-5079 or 1-833-544-0288 if they have general questions about the coronavirus, exposure, quarantine and spread, contract tracing, testing and the vaccine.
Regenye noted there are other locations and testing sites for asymptomatic people that have opened throughout the state with some located in Ocean County.