PARAMUS, NJ — The coronavirus testing sites at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center will close on June 30, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
However, during a June 23 news conference, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the state would continue to receive assistance from FEMA and the US Department of Health and Human Services for operations at other community-based testing sites.
This news comes as the Trump administration announced plans to close 13 community COVID-19 testing sites across the country, including the sites in New Jersey.
The two federal organizations will continue a partnership with local pharmacies, which has led to a greater volume of community-based testing sites across the state, he said.
Originally, the partnership was scheduled to end on June 30, but Murphy confirmed during the news conference it will continue through "at least the end of August."
The move to eliminate funding for the 13 testing sites received immediate backlash, particularly in Texas, a state which has seen a spike in cases, including 5,551 just yesterday.
In defense of the decision, the Trump administration's testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir told reporters during a U.S. Health and Human Services call that the move won't eliminate funds, but rather redistribute them.
"We are providing federal support in a different way," he said.
Unlike in Texas, New Jersey can claim that the state nearly has the virus contained, thanks to a recent report.
During a Monday news conference, Murphy cited findings from "Covid Act Now", a group of researchers and epidemiologist, which indicated that New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are the only three states on track to contain the virus.
As of Wednesday at 1 p.m., the New Jersey Department of Health reports a total of 169,892 coronavirus cases in the state, and 12,995 deaths from COVID-19.
During his Tuesday news conference, Murphy also announced the opening of a new testing site at the Mickey Walker Center in Elizabeth, and urged state residents to get tested for the coronavirus.
"Alongside the many other sites statewide, whether they be operated by county or local partners, nonprofits or by our private sector partners at numerous CVS, Rite Aid and Walmart locations, there is no reason to not get tested," he said.
A list of testing locations in New Jersey, and across the country, can be found here: https://my.castlighthealth.com/corona-virus-testing-sites/