The Ocean County Health Department and OEM had planned on moving their drive-thru testing to the Ocean County Fire and First Aid Training Center in Waretown on Thursday but nearly 24-hours later announced that they will NOT be making that move to southern Ocean County.

They will continue providing tests to Ocean County residents at Ocean County College until further notice.

Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye said Friday that when they took a final walk through at the Training Center in Waretown they discovered certain logistical issues leading to the decision for the County not to use the Training Center for the drive thru test site.

“While the Training Center provided an inside venue, following this review, these logistical issues cannot be addressed in time for the end of this emergency declaration,” Regenye said. “Therefore it was determined it would be best to continue the testing operations at the college. The college operations have gone smoothly, the traffic flow is good and we are doing well there."

The test requirements have not changed since the beginning and they won't in a new location explains Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye and anyone getting the test should continue self-isolating after receiving it.

“If you have symptoms, you should be returning home immediately after being tested and continue self- quarantining,” Regenye said in a statement. “If you have the coronavirus you will be spreading it if you are not isolating.”

Test appointments are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and are scheduled in advance for Ocean County residents from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

To date, a total of 1,955 Ocean County citizens have been tested for the coronavirus at Ocean County College. Regenye said that of those tests, 1,574 results have been returned and just under 30 percent of the tests have been positive.

Residents can start to book appointments with the Health Department at www.ochd.org for the Training Center test site starting at 3:00 pm on Friday.

“Because of the limited number of tests we have, it still remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the training center,” 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.”

Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding residents of the requirements to be tested include:

· You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification.

· You must have a healthcare practitioner script. · You must make an online appointment at www.ochd.org.

· You must be symptomatic.

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.

In addition, Regenye 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.”

The hospitals assisting in staffing the testing site - both Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System - have telemedicine opportunities to assist Ocean County residents obtain the required healthcare practitioner script before traveling to the testing center.

The telemedicine services at the hospitals can be accessed at:

  • Hackensack Meridian Health (Ocean Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center) https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/
  • RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System (Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus) www.RWJBHtelemed.org use code RWJBH15

Once the test has been performed, it’s anticipated to take 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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