Newark drive-thru coronavirus testing center opens Thursday

Paramus testing center
Photo credit (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New Jersey's biggest city is getting its first coronavirus testing site.

Essex County officials said Wednesday that a drive-thru testing center would be opening Thursday in Newark's Weequahic Park. A drive-through facility for Passaic County residents opened Wednesday at William Paterson University, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

In Essex, appointments are mandatory, according to a statement from Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. Residents should go to the county's website to complete a screening form and make an appointment.

In Passaic, county residents must have a referral from a doctor, Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier this week.

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The testing centers join other facilities for county-only residents at Kean University in Union and Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus. There are two federally-operated centers in Bergen and Monmouth counties for residents statewide. 

The testing center in Bergen County has been closing early due long lines of traffic.

For most people, coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death, Schuck reported.

New Jersey has the second most cases of coronavirus in the country at 3,700. 44 people have died from the virus, Murphy said Tuesday.

Murphy ordered all non-essential workers to stay home and and only essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies to remain open. The governor expanded the list, and businesses considered essential now includes:

Mobile phone retail and repair shops
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
  • Livestock feed stores
  • Nurseries and garden centers
  • Farming equipment stores
  • The list also includes groceries and supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations.