Middlesex County has compiled a comprehensive directory of COVID-19 testing facilities throughout its 25 municipalities to ensure that all residents can access free or affordable tests.
As the State of New Jersey reopens the economy, both diagnostic (detecting current presence of the virus) and antibody testing (detecting previous development of the virus), as well as contact tracing, will be crucial to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to a statement provided by the Middlesex County Office of Communications.
A full list of testing facilities, contact details, and type of test offered are available on the middesexcountynj.gov.
“Although the state is relaxing its orders and reopening the economy, we strongly encourage all our residents to remain vigilant, even after a vaccine becomes available. As we’re in the summer months, there is naturally a dramatic increase in social gatherings both at home and in public areas including beaches and pools. It is even more imperative now to socially distance, wear masks, and get tested. Mass testing, contact tracing and quarantines will get us on the road back to normalcy within our ‘new reality’ sooner — and together, as a community, we can be successful,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said in the statement.
Contact tracing goes hand in hand with testing and it is part of the process of supporting patients with suspected or confirmed infection. When a person tests positive for COVID-19 their data is added to the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS). These reports are then provided to the local health department where a contact tracer is assigned to call the person for an interview to determine close contacts. A close contact is anyone who was within six feet of you for more than 10 minutes at least two days before your positive test if you didn’t have any symptoms, or two days before your first symptom appeared, according to the statement.
Contact tracers call individuals to provide education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, how they should monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they themselves do not feel ill.
If residents have concerns that the person calling is not a real contact tracer, they can request the name and ID of anyone who calls, hang up and call the Middlesex County Office of Health Services at 732-745-3100. Select “option 2” to speak to a nurse, who will verify if the person that called is a trained Middlesex County Contact Tracer.
By monitoring symptoms, getting tested, and working with the Middlesex County Office of Health Services Contact Tracing program you can help reduce the spread of illness within the community, according to the statement. For more information about testing sites and contact tracing please visit the County webpage on contact tracing.
“Despite the declining positive COVID-19 cases, which is a good indication that our collective efforts are working—we are not out of the woods yet. We must all continue to work together to curtail the spread of the virus by being responsible and getting tested and ensuring accurate information is shared to contact tracers. These extra steps can help save lives in our County,” Freeholder and Chair of Public Safety & Health Committee, Shanti Narra said in the statement.
Middlesex County will continue to test asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals at two locations: A.C. Redshaw Elementary School, 216 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick (walk-up) and 1 Ericsson Dr., Piscataway (drive-thru). As the schedule changes weekly, visit the County’s Public Safety & Health webpage for the latest details. To schedule an appointment, call 732-745-3100 or visit Middlesexcountynj.gov/COVID19testing. Testing is free for Middlesex County residents.