Cape May County officials announced the re-opening of a drive-thru coronavirus test site Thursday, spurred by higher demand due to the increase in tourists visiting during the peak summer season.
This past weekend, Cape Regional Health System reported to the county that of 60% of the COVID-19 swabs they conducted were for patients who don’t have a permanent residence in Cape May County, said Denis Brown, the administrative aide to the freeholders.
“As the summer has gotten busier and there’s more people around, we’ve brought back the clinic to help offset some of the local testing demand,” Brown said. “They have been doing a great job getting tests done, but it’s just trying to get another testing option because they are getting inundated with tourists.”
A 30-day summary of cases released by the county shows a spike among non-residents around the Fourth of July holiday, with about 20 reported infections. There has been a steady decrease since then, down to four new non-resident cases, as of data reported on Thursday.
The county health department and CompleteCare Health Network will re-start drive-thru testing on July 30 by appointment only at the Cape May County Fire Academy in Cape May Court House starting at 8 a.m. Other testing dates have not yet been announced.
Anyone with symptoms or exposure to the virus can be tested, but must first be screened via a telemedicine visit by a CompleteCare provider, a press release from the county said. The test is free for those with or without symptoms and no co-pay will be required for a screening.
Results from the nasal saline test are typically available within 3 to 4 days, but there may be delays due to a surge in testing nationwide.
Brown said with vacationers driving up the county’s population for the summer, there has been an increased demand. Businesses are seeking tests for all employees when one person tests positive or has exposure to the virus, she said.
“There’s been a lot of demand on testing, but we haven’t seen a big pop in cases,” Brown said. “We have a lot of people who want tests. We want to alleviate some of that testing demand out there.”
The full process for scheduling an appointment for COVID-19 drive-thru testing in Cape May County can be found at CompleteCareNJ.org/COVID19.