Burlington County offers variety of COVID-19 testing options

PHOTO COURTESY OF KRYSTAL NURSE

Citing the rise of new COVID-19 variants, the Burlington County Department of Health is encouraging county residents, students and workers to take advantage of the COVID-19 testing available to them at Rowan College at Burlington County and other pop-up testing locations.

“We’re at a very critical time in our fight against the virus. The arrival of vaccines is a major plus and has generated a lot of hope and excitement, but COVID-19 continues to spread and that new variants represent a potential new threat,” Dr. Herb Conaway, director of the Burlington County Health Department and chair of the county’s COVID-19 Task Force, said in a prepared statement. “Testing remains a critical weapon in our arsenal and we now have a number of testing options available. We need our residents to take advantage of this service for their own health and the health of those around them.”

Testing is available to all of our residents and those who work or attend school in Burlington County on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel.

The COVID-19 tests at the college are saliva-based so people should not eat, drink, smoke, vape or chew gum for at least 30 minutes prior to testing. COVID-19 tests at the pop-up sites are typically gathered by nasal swab.  Test results are typically returned within 72 hours.

Burlington County also offers a home testing option. Participants must register online at www.homecovidtest.org to obtain a mail-order test kit and instructions on how to schedule a Zoom tele-health meeting with a health care worker to oversee sample collection.

Pop-up testing sites are being led by the New Jersey Department of Health and are intended to boost testing in COVID-19 “hotspots” throughout the state. Pop-up test sites are being planned in the future for locations in Cinnaminson and Medford, according to the statement.

County Commissioner Dan O’Connell, who is the board’s liaison to the Department of Health, said the state is making the extra testing available at an ideal time.

“We’ve seen surges in COVID-19 cases after the holidays when people tend to travel or let down their social distancing guard,” O’Connell said in the statement. “Coming off of Super Bowl Sunday and with Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend … we need those who maybe did travel or gather to take the time now to get tested. It’s free and easy and it can help protect you and your friends, co-workers and loved ones.”

Also, while testing is free at public testing locations, residents with insurance are encouraged to bring that information with them since the reimbursement can help defray the testing costs. Under state and federal law, insurance companies are required to cover COVID-19 tests with no out-of-pocket costs during the ongoing health emergency.

Burlington County has been a leader in the state in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of the first counties to launch a testing program, according to the statement. Since March 2020, more than 30,000 people have been tested through the county’s program.