N.J.’s 1st major coronavirus testing site hits capacity after just 4 hours
Taken from NJ.com
By Rodrigo Torrejon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
March 20, 2020
The state-run coronavirus testing site that opened in Bergen County Friday morning started turning people away just after noon, hours before it was scheduled to close.
Officials started turning cars away by 12 p.m. Friday at the site, located at Bergen Community College in Paramus.
A flashing electronic sign on W. Century Rd. signaled that testing was closed for the day, and noted the “testing site at capacity.” Nearby, a police officer announced over the speaker that testing was done for the day and for people to return at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s office confirmed to NJ Advance Media there were still many cars lined up to be testing and that medical professionals on site would get to everyone they could, but no one new would be accepted in line.
“The Bergen County Testing Site will continue testing as many people as it can before it closes at 4 p.m. today,” Alexandra Altman, a spokesman for Murphy’s office, said in a statement. “Due to the overwhelming response, the site will not be accepting additional individuals today and encourages residents to return at 8 a.m. tomorrow.”
Assistant Health Commissioner Christopher Neuwirth said the site had not run out of tests.
The center opened Friday morning at 8 a.m. to long lines of cars filled with people hoping to be tested. It was scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
At his afternoon press conference Friday, which was held on campus, Murphy said the site got through 600 tests Friday.
“To say there was pent up demand would be the understatement of the century,” he said.
The site will reopen Saturday, and will swab 350 people for tests before it starts turning people away, the governor said.