Mercer exec: County test site is keeping up with demand

Nearly 300 people who are suspected of having coronavirus have rolled through Mercer County’s new drive-through test site since the facility opened in the Quaker Bridge Mall parking lot in Lawrenceville on March 31.

The appointment-only testing center, which is only open to Mercer County residents, tested 266 people in its first three days of operation, county officials reported on April 2.

“Our team is keeping up with the demand. We have not had to turn anyone away because of a lack of test kits,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said. “We have a great group of people working at the test site. They are smart, compassionate and efficient.”

The staff at the test site includes medical professionals, county employees and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.

The test site is the result of a collaborative effort among Mercer County; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton; Capital Health Systems; St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton; and the Trenton Health Team.

The test site, which is open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., is limited to county residents who have shown COVID-19 symptoms and who have a prescription for the test from their physician.

The physician will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s telephone number. A staff member will call the patient and schedule an appointment.

Patients are not permitted to step out of their car at the test site for the health, safety and welfare of the individuals who are working at the facility. Walk-up patients are not permitted at the test site.

Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories to test the specimens that are collected. The typical turn-around time for obtaining results is 48 to 72 hours, but it could take longer.

An individual’s results will be sent to his or her physician, who will share the information with the patient and decide on the next steps, county officials said.