Local and state representatives visited the site Tuesday, April 14, a day before becoming operational, to discuss the second COVID-19 testing location opening in Camden County with coordination from the Freeholder Board.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr., Congressman Donald Norcross, Gloucester Township Mayor David R. Mayer and Interim President with Jefferson Health New Jersey Brian Sweeney discussed the pandemic at a nearby building on location.
“About a hundred yards away from us is a site that Camden County began developing about four weeks ago,” Cappelli said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to operate the site because there simply weren’t enough testing kits available. Just last week we reached out to Jefferson University Hospital to see what the status was of their ability to get testing kits, and we’re very happy to report today that we’ll be able to operate this site in partnership with Jefferson University Hospital.”
According to Camden County officials, the site will be operational from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the capacity to test up to 100 individuals per day. The site will have four drive-up lanes for testing, placing an emphasis on those deemed as “essential personnel” during the COVID-19 pandemic by Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 104, including employees of grocery stores, medical facilities, gas stations, police departments, medical supply stores and more.
Prospective patients of the site must have an appointment, which can be made by calling (844) 542-2273. Appointments are required, even for residents that have already obtained a script to be tested.
The site is Jefferson’s third in South Jersey, according to Sweeney, with the health system also operating testing sites in Washington Township and Cherry Hill, having tested more than 4,000 residents thus far between the two sites. Sweeney says the Blackwood location will be operational for an undetermined amount of time.
“On behalf of Jefferson Health, we are really excited about the partnership opportunities we have here in South Jersey,” Sweeney said. “This is a very serious event … this is a way for us to give back to the community.”
Sweeney emphasized that residents looking to get tested follow the proper protocol in terms of calling ahead to schedule an appointment while also allowing for a tele-health visit, where health professionals can virtually diagnose patients. According to Sweeney, 80 percent of visits with their health professionals can be done virtually at the time being.
Sweeney says the turnaround time for results on tests is approximately two to three days.
With an increase in available tests for Camden County residents in recent weeks, the number of positive tests has increased drastically, helping to show the true spread of the virus across South Jersey.
As of April 14, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Camden County was 1,478 with 45 total fatalities. Camden City had the most positive cases with 284, followed by Cherry Hill with 244 and Gloucester Township with 167. Three other municipalities within Camden County also had more than 100 reported cases as of April 14, according to Camden County officials.
Cappelli said Camden County has been doing a good job following social distancing and stay-at-home orders to help prevent a larger spread of the virus, and urged residents to continue such guidelines in an effort to help lessen its overall impact.
“Right now is a time to double down on our efforts,” Cappelli said. “It’s certainly not a time that we should be loosening up our activities. Staying at home is still important, as is social distancing.”