What to Know
- New Jersey will begin testing people who believe they may have COVID-19 but are otherwise asymptomatic
- Testing will be conducted at sites that have been testing people who have exhibited symptoms for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus
- Health care workers, first responders and people who live or work in communal living arrangements -- such as nursing homes -- will get priority for the tests
New Jersey will begin testing people who believe they may have the novel coronavirus but are otherwise asymptomatic, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Friday.
The tests will be offered at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel and Bergen Community College in Paramus. Both sites have already been testing people exhibiting symptom
"Expanded access to testing is one of our key principles for getting New Jersey back to restart and recovery," Murphy said in a tweet.
Initially, testing will be prioritized for health care workers and first responders and people who either live or work in communal living facilities, such as nursing homes. After those groups, people who have come into close contact with people who have already tested postive for COVID-19 will be the priority.
Murphy said people who want a test should contact their health care providers before heading to one of the testing sites in order to make sure that frontline workers and people at higher risk for exposure can get tested first.
New Jersey's death toll hit 8,952 Friday, with Murphy adding a 4-year-old child, the state's youngest victim, to the toll. The child had underlying conditions. More than half of the state's deaths have come from long-term care facilities.
But the Garden State is seeing improvement on core metrics like hospitalization and infection rates. Murphy reopened state parks and golf courses last weekend and says he saw overwhelming compliance with social distancing and face-covering protocol.
"That’s given us more confidence that we can continue to take other steps," Murphy said on MSNBC Friday. "We’re looking at beaches, you know, we’re trying to do, take the responsible steps we can in the face of something, which is, while it’s improving, we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s no other way to say it."