A Union County drive-thru testing site will become the first to offer a new three-panel swab test that will produce results for COVID-19 virus, Influenza A, and Influenza B all on the same swab, officials said.
County residents, first responders and front line health personnel who live in New Jersey will be able to get the free test administered at the Kean University Campus in Union Township beginning Nov. 2, the county announced Tuesday evening.
The center will also expand its schedule at that time from twice weekly to three days a week and will be open by appointment every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a statement from the county. Neither symptoms not a doctor’s referral will be required for an appointment.
The test will have an initial turnaround time of 48 hours, which will be phased down to just 24 hours before the end of the month, authorities said.
“This innovative partnership between Union County and Kean University will provide a very important service to residents of one of our most populous counties,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “As the flu season approaches, and cases of COVID-19 have risen at an alarming rate, Union County’s efforts to promote the safety of residents and to reduce strain on our healthcare system are remarkable and needed.”
The county established the free test center at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak on March 23 and since that time more than 60,000 Union County residents, first responders and front line health personnel working in state have gotten tests there, according to the statement.
The new test comes in response to increasing COVID-19 case numbers in the state which coincides with flu season and colder weather which brings an increase in indoor activities where COVID-19 is more likely to spread, the county said.
To make an appointment online visit Union County’s new COVID-19 website, ucnj.org/covid19, or call 908-518-4307.
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Chris Sheldon may be reached at email@example.com.