As a second COVID-19 wave continues to hit South Jersey this winter despite newly available vaccines, forcing schools back to 100-percent remote learning and imposing additional restrictions on certain businesses, Camden County is operating six COVID testing sites.
According to Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, half of the sites are in Camden and are ‘pop-up’ locations that allow the city’s residents to be tested during the week. Camden has the highest number of positive cases in the county.
“The reason we have three pop-ups in Camden is because Camden City has the highest number of cases,” said Cappelli. “Camden has the highest living density in the county, multi-generational living is prevalent and the city also has the largest share of essential workers in the region. So we’ve certainly placed a focus on that area.”
The county operates Camden testing sites at Veterans Memorial School on Monday, at Cooper Poynt School on Wednesday and at Dr. Charles Brimm Medical Arts High School on Thursday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
The county also operates a more central testing location at 201 Broadway seven days a week. Outside of the city, residents can get tested at the Camden County College campus in Cherry Hill any day of the week, and at the Charles J DePalma Complex in Lindenwold on Tuesday and Saturday.
“Lindenwold is another high-density area, with a lot of apartment buildings for example, so we wanted to make sure those people outside of the city also have the opportunity to get tested,” Cappelli explained. “Plus, it’s closer to the southern side of the county for other residents that want to get tested.”
According to the freeholder, Camden County in total can administer anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 tests per week at the six locations. With COVID vaccines on the horizon,
Cappelli said discussions are ongoing with the Gov. Phil Murphy about how the process will work and when and how many vaccinations will be available in the near future.
“We are currently in the process of coordinating with Cooper Hospital a process by which those vaccinations will be given,” Cappelli said. “It’s a work in progress right now.
“I anticipate that we will be assisting in the distribution of the vaccine for health care workers sometime in January … and I would think sometime this spring that we will have access to the vaccine for the general public,” he added.
Camden County is accepting applications for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical professionals to be part of its vaccination efforts next year. Those interested can call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (856) 374-6000 for more information.