Two months into the pandemic, coronavirus testings have become more accessible across the tri-state area.
Not everyone who wants to get tested for COVID-19 were able to because of low supplies and states had to prioritize people who are at higher risk of contracting the disease, such as seniors and those who are immunocompromised, and essential workers. Now, more and more free tests are available as regions begin to slowly reopen.
Currently, the tests at some drive-thru facilities in the tri-state take about 15 minutes each and individuals will get their results in 2-3 days. Here are where you can get tested for the coronavirus and its antibody in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut:
How to Get a Coronavirus Test
Who Can Get Tested?
Previously, in order to see if you have COVID-19, your healthcare provider will have to make an appointment for you or you needed to call the state's coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to see if you're meet the requirements.
But now, the state's testing criteria includes all individuals who would return to the workplace in phase one of the state's reopening plan. These are the requirements:
- Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms;
- Any individual who has had contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19;
- Any individual who is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine;
- Any individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responder;
- Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; and
- Any individual who would return to the workplace in phase one of the state's reopening plan
Tracking Coronavirus in Tri-State
Where Are the COVID-19 Testing Facilities?
The New York State Department of Health has launched a website portal to direct people to the nearest testing site when provided a home address. Click here to find a testing site near you.
Where Can I Get Tested for Antibody?
While it is still largely unclear whether people who have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered can be reinfected, the antibody test is the best we can do to indicate some sort of immunity.
Antibodies develop when the immune system responds to a germ, usually a virus or a bacterium. With other diseases, IgG is one type of antibody that usually develops 3 to 4 weeks after infection with the germ and lasts for a long time.
Therefore, the test should not be conducted until at least 21 days have passed since you had a positive viral (molecular diagnostic) test or the symptoms of COVID-19 started, according to the Department of Health.
Free antibody tests will be available at one location in each New York City borough and by appointment only. New Yorkers can make an appointment at the city's website.
Like in New York, testing in New Jersey is prioritized for people with coronavirus symptoms, healthcare workers, first responders, personnel in congregate living settings and those who have been in close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The testing sites in Bergen and Monmouth County, at Bergen Community College and the PNC Bank Arts Center, will now reserve testing on Saturdays for health care workers and first responders, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
Testing can now also be done at pharmacies in the state, and self-administered swab tests can be taken at seven Walmarts throughout the state. The tests are available three days a week, and are by appointment only. Locations include Garfield, Kearny, North Bergen, Flemington, Burlington, Howell and Mount Laurel.
Find the most up-to-date information on New Jersey testing centers here.
Bergen County: The first drive-thru testing facility will open Friday, March 20, at Bergen Community College in Paramus, according to Murphy. The testing center will be open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. every day.
Burlington County: Residents of Burlington County can seek testing, by appointment only through primary care physicians, at the Emergency Training Services Center in Westampton.
Essex County: Residents of Essex County with an appointment will be able to get COVID-19 testing done at a site set up in Weequahic Park starting March 26. The site will be open again on Saturday, then next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Testing will be conducted only on residents showing symptoms, and will be done as long as supplies are still available.
Hudson County: Hudson Regional Hospital is offering by-appointment drive-thru testing at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus. There are also plans to set up another testing center in Weehawken, according to a release from the town's mayor asking for volunteers.
In Jersey City, two COVID-19 testing sites opened to prioritize essential workers. A walk-up site is opened at JC Fire Headquarters at 465 Marin Blvd, and a drive-up site is opened at Former DPW Complex at 575 NJ-440. Appointments are required. Patients are asked to call 201-547-5535 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monmouth County: The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel is the latest site selected for a drive-thru testing site, the governor announced Sunday. The site will open daily at 8 a.m. until supplies last. Testing will be prioritized for people experiencing symptoms of respiratory illnesses and flu-like symptoms.
Middlesex County: In News Brunsrick, a drive-up COVID-19 testing site for pediatric patients opened on April 1, according to PM Pediatrics. It's located at 2421 U.S. Route 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902.
Morris County: Another site for pediatric patients is at 562 NJ-23 in Pompton Plains.
Orange County: Plans are being completed for a testing sit at Ocean County in Toms River for residents showing symptoms of coronavirus. The site will be able to test about 180 people per day, with residents staying inside their cars while medical personnel perform a nasal swab
Passaic County: William Paterson University has opened its grounds to a testing center for residents in the county. People seeking testing can enter through the entrance on Hamburg Turnpike and University Boulevard.
Union County: The County of Union will open a testing facility at Kean University for residents, first responders and county workers on Monday.
Hospitals across the state have been offering drive-thru testing and more continues to be added through the state's partnership with CVS.
Unlike in New York, a referral from a healthcare provider is no longer required for Connecticut residents to be tested for COVID-19. Patients will need to register online and schedule a time slot and they can schedule on the same day or up to two days in advance.
You can contact these area hospitals for more information:
- Hartford Healthcare Hotline: (860) 972-8100
- Yale New Haven Health: (833)-275-9644
- Bristol Hospital Coronavirus Info Line: (860) 261-6855
- Stamford Health: (203) 276-4111