Hudson County will open a designated testing center for COVID-19 at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus on Tuesday, March 24, Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise announced Monday, March 23.
The testing center will provide by-appointment service only and officials have stressed — if you do not have an appointment, you will not be seen under any circumstances. Said appointments may be made by calling (201) 388-1097, beginning at noon (today), Monday, March 23.
The testing site will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. It will also be able to test first responders to expedite their return, if they’re found to be negative, so they may continue to perform important public-safety duties.
“Hudson Regional Hospital has the medical staff, facilities and circulation capacity to allow us to best respond to the need for COVID-19 testing,” DeGise said. “In addressing this crisis, we have been measuring many factors and we are encouraged that this collaboration provides us the a high-performing program enabling us to safely screen, test and treat patients.”
The Secaucus Police Department and the county have allocated additional staff to assist in the operation of the program. Hudson Regional Hospital was among the first healthcare institutions in New Jersey to offer drive-by testing, and since opening that facility last Tuesday, has fielded about 250 calls per day from people inquiring about screening and testing.
“We are honored to serve the people of Hudson County as its designated testing center and especially grateful for the county’s work in securing testing kits, which have been difficult to obtain,” Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, president and CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital, said. “Our testing program operated very smoothly in its first week and we are ready to scale it to absorb the county’s requirements.
DeGise was pleased Secaucus stepped up to make certain the county had a testing facility.
“As they so often have, Mayor Michael Gonnelli and our host community of Secaucus, have stepped up to support us, enabling us to provide better care for patients, and we thank them for their role in facilitating this program,” the county executive said.
Hudson Regional has developed the following testing process:
(1) If you have a cough or shortness of breath accompanied by a fever, please call (201) 388-1097 after noon Monday to begin the screening process.
(2) You will be asked to discuss your symptoms, and if appropriate, give your information to set an appointment time for a screening. You must call and be pre-screened in order be tested on site. No exceptions will be made.
(3) Drive-thru screening will take place in your car. If needed, additional tests will be performed in a specially designated area.
(4) Test results will be provided once available within 3 to 5 days.
“We know these are anxious times and that some people with and without symptoms will attempt to access the testing center without following the required procedures,” DeGise said. “For your own safety, the safety of others and the functionality of the program, please follow the screening procedure as indicated.”
Meanwhile, authorities have also announced two inmates at the Hudson County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. Both inmates, officials say, have been quarantined on site. No other detainees or staff have as yet tested positive.
The facility will be on COVID-19 protocol for 14 days (as of March 22) which will include modified lock-down, daily temperature taking of staff, inmates and detainees, sanitizing of the entire complex and case tracing.
Detainees have provided with tablets in their cells to stay in contact with loved ones and will have their individual accounts funded to allow them to buy items from commissary as they may not be able to receive funds now from family and friends.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.