Millions of coronavirus tests capable of producing a test result in 15 minutes will soon be headed to the Garden State, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.
The rollout of rapid testing for the coronavirus comes weeks after President Trump guaranteed the distribution of 150 million across the United States. 2.6 million of those tests will be sent to New Jersey, Murphy said.
New Jersey is set to receive 170,000 of those 2.6 million rapid tests in the coming weeks and the rollout and distribution will be coordinated by the state's health department. Focus will be on hot spots like Ocean County.
Murphy called the additional tests a game-changer, and will help New Jersey nearly double the current daily testing capacity. The tests come as health officials in the state try to curb growing spikes in a number of counties.
28 percent of all new cases reported in the past six days originated in Ocean County, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Monday. Increases to the county's testing capacity are already in place and almost two dozen contact tracers will be deployed, she said.
"We are not out of the woods yet and the numbers we've been seeing the past week or so bare that out," Murphy said.
The city hit the hardest is also the county's largest, Lakewood, which has an orthodox community celebrating the High Holy days months after being particularly ravaged by COVID. More than 200 people in the community died before the end of May from the virus. For Monday's holiday, the elderly and those with underlying conditions were asked by some rabbis not to go into a schul.
Of the 2.6 million test kits coming to the state, about 6,000 for Lakewood alone arrived on Friday. There will also be 20 new contact tracers rushed to the Ocean County overall starting Tuesday, Gov. Murphy said.
The state continues to hold a daily positivity rate just above 1 percent. 561 new positive cases were reported on Monday as the statewide total reached 204,107.
"We are all experiencing some level of understandable fatigue, that's only nature after the past nearly seven months. But now is the time we have to dig deep and find some added resolve," he said.