TOMS RIVER – The online registration process has been successful so far, with more than 300 people registering for the program. County officials are using this time to remind people what they need before arriving.
The test is only for people who have a prescription from a doctor to get the test, officials have said. This is not for people who feel sick and are wondering if they might have it.
As of press time, all Monday slots are booked, said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. They are now making appointments for Tuesday through Friday.
The testing will be done at the Ocean County College campus in Toms River.
“We do not want anyone to show up at this testing site without following the requirements we have put in place,” he said. “We are not going to do any health screenings at the site. It is just for testing for the virus.”
Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding residents of the requirements to be tested include:
- You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification
- You must have a physician’s prescription
- You must make an online appointment at ochd.org
- You must be symptomatic
- You should enter the Ocean County College campus 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.
Additionally, many health care providers are currently doing telemedicine, so patients don’t need to see a physician in person to obtain the necessary script, he said.
“Many health care providers are now doing telemedicine and are offering this service remotely and in the spirit of social distancing,” Regenye said. “Please do not unnecessarily expose healthcare workers or others in an attempt to obtain a physician’s order. Please use telemedicine when appropriate during this challenging time.”
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 physician script before traveling to the testing center.
The telemedicine services at the hospitals can be accessed at:
- Hackensack Meridian Health (Ocean Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center) hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/
- RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System (Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus) RWJBHtelemed.org use code RWJBH15
“We want these tests to run as smoothly as possible for our residents and the staff that will be onsite doing the tests. This will help insure everyone’s safety,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, who serves as the Coordinator of the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, which is overseeing the site. “I encourage everyone to follow the requirement to have a doctor’s prescription for the test, to register for the test and to have proper identification once you come to the site.
“If you haven’t registered and if you don’t have a doctor’s prescription we cannot provide you with a test. I cannot stress this enough,” he said.
The site will operate daily from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as long as coronavirus tests continue to be available and also weather permitting.
“Residents will remain in their cars and medical personnel will perform a nasal swab,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Health Department. “We are working to make this convenient and more importantly safe for the public, the health care providers on site and staff.”
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 Ocean County Health Department and residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative,” Regenye said.
The most common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath.