OCC Remains A Test Site This Week

Health employees work at the drive-through testing center at Ocean County College in Toms River. (Photo courtesy the Richards family)

  TOMS RIVER – Ocean County College will remain a drive thru testing site thru the week of May 18.

  Testing for the coronavirus at the college’s drive thru testing site at OCC will be done at the site by appointment on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The hours have been returned to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on those days.

  Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye said, “we continue to watch the appointment schedule and adjust it as we go forward. Based on current State recommendations we anticipate that we will be testing more people in the days ahead.

  “It remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the college. We do not want anyone to show up at this testing site without following the requirements we have put in place. We are not going to do any health screenings at the site. It is just for testing for the virus,” Regenye added.

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  Members of the Ocean County Health Department remind residents that the requirements to be tested include:

  • You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification.
  • You must have a healthcare practitioner script.
  • You must make an online appointment at ochd.org.
  • You must be symptomatic.
  • Entry to the college site is from the Hooper Avenue entrance.

  Regenye said that any practitioner (including Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant etc.) who has “prescriptive” privileges in New Jersey can write a script for COVID testing, it does not necessarily have to be a physician.

  Regenye stressed that with many health care providers currently doing telemedicine, individuals do not need to see a physician in person to obtain the necessary script.

  The hospitals assisting in staffing the testing site – both Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System – have telemedicine opportunities to assist Ocean County residents obtain the required healthcare practitioner script before traveling to the testing center.

  The telemedicine services at the hospitals can be accessed at:

  Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said,“this drive thru testing site has been a cooperative effort by a number of agencies.” He noted that more than 3,768 residents have been tested at the college site during the coronavirus pandemic.

  Partners in the testing site include U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management under Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, the Ocean County Health Department, RWJ Barnabas Health Southern Region and Hackensack Meridian Health and Ocean County College.

  “Residents remain in their cars and medical personnel perform a nasal swab at the OCC site,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Health Department.

  Little said, “we are working to make this convenient and more importantly safe for the public, the health care providers on site and staff.”

  As of May 14, Ocean County has recorded 7,714 cases of the coronavirus. The positivity rate of those tested is 21 percent. Regenye stressed that anyone getting the test should continue self-isolating after receiving it.

  Regenye added, “if you have symptoms, you should be returning home immediately after being tested and continue self- quarantining. If you have the coronavirus you will be spreading it if you are not isolating.”

  Once the test has been performed, it’s anticipated to take about 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.

   Common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Ocean County has also established a process to ensure that people with test results are informed in a timely manner and provided with guidance, consultation and next steps.