The Ocean County Health Department has a trifecta of good news amid the Covid-19 pandemic as they will have announced another round of drive-thru testing available next week at Ocean County College, the amount of daily appointments is going from 180 to 216 and there are additional testing sites in the works.

Appointments need to be scheduled in advance and are only for Ocean County residents.

The site is open 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

“We have been saying that testing for COVID-19 will continue so long as we have tests and are able to meet the staffing needs at the site,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari said in a statement. “The hospitals, the Ocean County Health Department, the Salvation Army, and our Office of Emergency Management are all ready to go for next week.”

“I want to extend my appreciation to all of the residents going through the site. I know this is difficult for them but they are following the requirements and that insures everyone’s safety,” Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy, who serves as the Coordinator of the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, which is overseeing the site, said. “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."

While there are more tests available, all of the requirements remain the same including having symptoms, an appointment and a doctor's prescription.

“Because of the limited number of tests we have, it still remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the college,” Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye said. “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.”

As the Ocean County College drive-thru testing site continues forward, Regenye told WOBM News on Thursday that plans are being looked at for additional sites in Ocean County.

"We've already started some communication to open some new testing sites here in the county. Once that's announced we will pass that information along," Regenye said. "We would keep a similar process that we have at Ocean County College. It's done a really great job at managing the flow of people."

At any of the sties, you'll still be asked to follow the same requirements including getting a prescription.

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.

He also 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.

“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.”

Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System who Regenye said are staffing the testing site also have telemedicine opportunities to assist residents obtain the required physician script before traveling to the testing center.

Once the Covid-19 test has been performed, it takes 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.

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