Mercer County COVID-19 testing site to open tomorrow

An empty parking lot outside Macy's at the Quaker Bridge Mall would have been full of cars, before indoor shopping malls were ordered to temporarily close their doors. As of March 31, the parking lot at the mall was being used as a coronavirus testing site.LEA KAHN/STAFF
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An empty parking lot outside Macy's at the Quaker Bridge Mall would have been full of cars, before indoor shopping malls were ordered to temporarily close their doors. As of March 31, the parking lot at the mall was being used as a coronavirus testing site.LEA KAHN/STAFF

Mercer County is opening an appointment-only, drive-through testing site at the Quaker Bridge Mall for Mercer County residents who have been referred for testing for COVID-19 by their physician, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said.

The testing center will open March 31 in the parking lot at the Quaker Bridge Mall, which is on the corner of Route 1/Brunswick Pike and Quakerbridge Road in Lawrence Township. Initially, the testing center will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hughes said.

“Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and isolate people with infections,” Hughes said. The testing center is open to Mercer County residents who are at least 18 years old.

Mercer County residents who have COVID-19 symptoms and who want to be tested would need a prescription from their physician before they can make an appointment for a test, according to Mercer County officials.

To be eligible for testing, it is necessary to be examined by one’s physician, Mercer County officials said. The physician will determine whether a test is needed, based on the symptoms. No one should be tested unless they are displaying symptoms.

If the physician decides that a test is necessary, he or she will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. A staff member will call the patient and schedule an appointment. Testing site instructions will be provided.

Patients will not be permitted to leave their cars at the testing site, for the health, safety and security of the staff at the site. Walk-up patients are not permitted.

The Quaker Bridge Mall drive-through testing center is a collaborative effort between Mercer County, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, and the Trenton Health Team.

Pointing to the logistics in setting up and staffing a testing site, Hughes praised the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management, the collaborating hospitals, the Quaker Bridge Mall management and Lawrence Township officials for working together to set it up.