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YMCA and VNACJ Community Health Centers collaborate on COVID-19 testing

RED BANK – The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County has joined forces with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey’s Community Health Centers (VNACJ CHC) to offer COVID-19 testing at the Red Bank Family YMCA.

VNACJ CHC is now staffing drive-through and walk-up saliva-based testing at the YMCA for area residents concerned they may have been exposed to the coronavirus, according to a press release.

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Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials have said increased and continued broad-based testing will help identify individuals who have been infected, help them get necessary treatment and slow the spread of the virus, according to the press release.

“Local testing at the YMCA is another way our organization has solidified its commitment to serve the community during this pandemic, and we have partnered with the VNACJ Community Health Centers to provide area residents with convenient access to COVID-19 testing,” YMCA President and CEO Laurie Goganzer said.

The Y has offered emergency child care to essential workers, blood drives, food collection and distribution, as well as mental health services for children and adults throughout the coronavirus pandemic, according to the press release.

Goganzer said the testing is another example of the “Y’s commitment to address the community’s critical needs during this uncharted and unparalleled public health crisis.”

CEO of VNACJ CHC Christopher Rinn said, “We are pleased to work with the YMCA to offer this essential testing to residents of the greater Monmouth County area.”

Rinn said the saliva test is less intrusive than the deep nasal swab test that has been widely used since the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

“The (saliva test) is safer for healthcare workers administering the procedure and they require less personal protective equipment than the deep nasal swab,” he added.

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said the borough “is grateful our local Y and the VNA have teamed up to provide easy access to COVID-19 testing for our residents and those in neighboring towns.”

Individuals who are interested in being tested at the Red Bank Family YMCA should call VNACJ CHC at 732-294-2540 for a telehealth screening or go to vnachc.org/contact-us to determine if they qualify for testing.

The test site at the Red Bank YMCA, 166 Maple Ave., is open by appointment only from 1-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Patients can drive through and will be given a kit through their car window. Walk-up patients will be asked to sit on a bench outside of the YMCA. The testing takes about 15 minutes.

Results will be provided two to three days after the saliva screening. Fees for the COVID-19 test are on a sliding scale and/or based upon the individual’s health insurance coverage, according to the press release.

As of June 1, New Jersey had more than 160,000 positive cases reported, and 11,700 deaths from the coronavirus.

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