Rite Aid Explains COVID-19 Testing

Some drivers form a line awaiting testing for coronavirus. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  TOMS RIVER – From the beginning of the pandemic, the public has been told how important it is to get tested. But where can you get testing?

  The federal and state governments didn’t institute any wide-spread testing. The county stepped up and opened a site at Ocean County College in Toms River. For that, you need a doctor’s prescription. Other companies and even senior communities started their own testing, forming a patchwork of coverage for the county.

  One of these companies was Rite Aid, which started offering testing at their Mule Road location, near the border of Toms River and the senior communities of Berkeley.

  From the beginning, some residents complained about the process. Firstly, because some of Berkeley uses the Toms River post office, there’s a common misconception that the area is actually in Toms River.

  The largely senior population that would be using the service were uncomfortable registering online to get the test.

Photo by Chris Lundy

  The process began on March 22, when the company started testing first responders. It has since spread out to dozens of locations country-wide, and people don’t have to have symptoms to be tested, said Chris Savarese, Director of Public Relations for Rite Aid.

  Across all 71 sites, they have the capacity to do as many as 10,000 tests a day. They use multiple partners like BioReference laboratories, Verily Life Sciences and the Department of Health.

  In response to the complaint seniors have about going online, that’s how they get their results, he said. “There might be a lot of steps up front, but it makes it smoother,” he said. “Our mission is to keep helping the community we serve.”

  Some residents were concerned that it is a self swab test, not administered by a medical professional. They were worried that they were not doing it right.

  Savarese said every person is under the guidance of a Rite Aid pharmacist, which gives it consistency. They are also able to ask questions.

  “We’re the vehicle to help get the testing done,” he said.

  The location is listed as 31 Mule Rd.

  What you need to do:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Other testing eligibility is set by the Centers for Disease Control, visit CDC.gov for updated information
  • Have government-issued identification
  • Register online for the test at RiteAid.com
  • Go to the parking lot during your time slot
  • Stay in your vehicle
  • Rite Aid pharmacists will oversee the tests, but you will be doing the self-swab nasal test on yourself
  • Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the CDC