Federal COVID test site opening in NJ, but date, location unknown
TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy's office announced Monday that a federal "surge" testing site for COVID-19 will be opened in New Jersey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but no indication was immediately given as to when and where that location would become operational.
Once the state Department of Health consults with the CDC on a location and timeline for opening, a release from the governor's office said, that information will be shared with the public.
According to the release, the site will be part of the CDC's Increasing Community Access to Testing, or ICATT, surge response effort, meant to drive up free means of testing within underserved communities.
The governor remains on vacation in Costa Rica, but provided a statement regarding the partnership between state and federal health officials.
"With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, it is imperative that we remain vigilant and provide tools for our residents to stay safe," Murphy said. "This testing site will be an invaluable means to continue mitigating the spread of the pandemic. I thank our federal partners for their continued support and commitment to keeping New Jerseyans healthy."
"We appreciate the federal government's support to make this resource available to New Jersey residents," state health commissioner Judith Persichilli said. "Testing is an important tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our state."
On Monday, New Jersey reported its highest number of COVID hospitalizations since Feb. 10, and the statewide rate of transmission was 1.66, the second straight day the Rt topped the year's previous high of 1.51, on July 28.
In some communities, the spike is especially pronounced; Newark reported over the holiday weekend that its three-day average test positivity had topped 27%, and a citywide public indoor mask mandate went into effect Monday.
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