COVID-19 testing centers

Colm Slevin, Iris News Editor

As the number of coronavirus cases rose in New Jersey to 22,255 by April 2, Kean University recently converted one of its parking lots into a COVID-19 testing facility.  The facility opened on Mar. 23 and operates on weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The testing center has also recently added hours on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Hi’s Eye documented what it is like to get tested for the coronavirus at this facility.

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  • A message plays on the school’s radio station, welcoming Union County residents to the facility who have an appointment, and also urging those who do not have an appointment or who are not sick to stay home. The message asks patients to stay in their car with the windows up and explains that a nasal swab test will be administered by a nurse. The message also says to not to roll down your window until you are told to do so. The instructions ask patients to return home to self quarantine along with all others who may have been exposed following the test.The message ends telling patients to visit CDC.gov for more information before it is played again in Spanish.

    Photo by Colm Slevin

  • In order to get tested, Union County residents either need a prescription for testing from a doctor, or they need to call (908)-373-5105. Testing at this facility is free, with or without healthcare. “The Test Center serves every patient who meets the CDC guidelines, even if they have no health insurance or personal doctor. COVID-19 knows no barriers, and our response to the crisis must be barrier-free as well,” Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella said in a Union County press release.

    Photo by Colm Slevin

  • A line of signs in English and Spanish ask visitors to keep their windows up, stay in their cars and informs them that testing is by appointment only, reinforcing the message played on the school’s radio station.

    Photo by Colm Slevin

  • “By streamlining the process and opening on Saturday, we can enable more Union County residents to obtain vital information about their condition as quickly as possible,” Mirabella said to My Central Jersey. “I encourage anyone with symptoms to consult a doctor regarding use of the Test Center."

    Photo by Colm Slevin

  • There were multiple testing tents set up, and after pulling into a tent, patients were asked to blow their nose, bend their head back and grab their knees before a nurse administered a nasal swab. The nurse then gave the patient two pamphlets about symptoms and recuperation. Results from the test come back within three to five days, and patients were once again urged to stay home and self quarantine, and to only go to the hospital if they felt they needed a ventilator.

    Photo by Colm Slevin

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