Friday, July 10, 2020

What is the truth about Covid testing in New Jersey in July 2020?

From a post on on July 10, 2020:

Officials have said the transmission rate and positivity rate are the two most important figures to measure how the virus is currently spreading across the state, helping determine when restrictions can be lifted.

“And feeding into both of these metrics are the results of the coronavirus tests being recorded every day,” Gov. Phil Murphy said at his latest coronavirus briefing in Trenton. “The more testing, the more precise we can get these numbers.”


In fact, the two major testing sites in New Jersey closed on June 30, 2020:

The drive-through coronavirus testing sites at Bergen Community College in Paramus and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel will close June 30 as federal support ends.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will continue to support ongoing testing at local pharmacies through at least the end of August.

As to locales for testing in Somerset County, New Jersey, one had the RVCC site, once serving residents of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, but now only for Somerset County residents. Initially, the RVCC site would NOT test asymptomatic individuals:

Raritan Valley Community College, 118 Lamington Road. COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. Residents can make an appointment by visiting here or call (908) 237-7150. Testing will be by appointment only and a valid doctor’s prescription is required. Initially, the test site at RVCC will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on certain dates. Check here for updates. Testing is free and only available to Hunterdon and Somerset County residents, age 5 and older, with symptoms, such as fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Must have a written doctor’s authorization and show proof of residency, such as a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification.

This restriction was lifted, BUT the RVCC site has stopped taking appointments. Thus, on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, an internet submission did get an acknowledgement:


Date: Wed, Jul 8, 2020 10:18 AM
Subject:Somerset County Survey #XXXX - Please validate your email address


Thank you for your submission. We are working quickly to schedule your appointment. Soon you will receive a text and email with your appointment information.


An inquiry on July 9 produced no response


Just to confirm, I have received no scheduled appointment.

Sent July 9 at 1:20pm


No response has been given as of July 10.

Contacting the CVS site on Union Ave., as an asymptomatic 70 year old gives the following:

Thus, while Governor Murphy speaks about the value of testing, New Jersey is in fact a "testing-unfriendly" state.

We will talk about how the decisions on testing in New Jersey impact the accuracy, and significance, of the transmission rate and positivity rate in a separate post.

UPDATE on 16 July 2020:

The RVCC site was open on July 16, 2020.

Note also:


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