Mayor Andre Sayegh on Wednesday morning announced four coronavirus testing sites will open at local schools for residents on Friday.
The four sites are at the following schools:
- Eastside High School at 150 Park Avenue
- John F. Kennedy High School at 61 Preakness Avenue
- School 18 at 51 East 18th Street
- And School 28 at 200 Presidential Boulevard.
Sites which will have both drive-thru and walk-up options will operate Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be no testing at Eastside High School on May 16.
Sayegh said the sites, which will offer the nasal swab test, will test both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. He said patients will need to provide photo identification, insurance card if they have insurance, and proof of residency.
Unauthorized immigrants will also be able to get tested at the sites, said the mayor. He said they will need provide an identification. Paterson has a large unauthorized immigrant community.
“All Paterson residents will be afforded an opportunity to get tested for free,” said the mayor in a press conference at Eastside High School on Wednesday. “We want to re-open our economy and testing is a critical component to doing that.”
Sayegh dedicated the testing site at Eastside High School to deceased principal Gerald Glisson, who died of Covid-19 last week.
Glisson, who served as principal of operations at the high school, was 46.
Sayegh had come under criticism for failing to open up a testing site early on in the pandemic. He opened two non-governmental testing sites run by local doctors in the Eastside and South Paterson sections last week. Both charged residents for tests.
The four new sites will be operated by Sunrise Diagnostics. The company has the capacity to conduct 500 to 1,000 tests per day at the four sites. Results are provided within 24 to 72 hours.
Sayegh said the city will be compensated through the Cares Act funding for the four sites.
The number of infections in Paterson, which has the biggest outbreak in Passaic County, has been declining since May 1.
Paterson had 5,701 cases with 271 deaths on Tuesday.
Sayegh said hospitalization rate is also down. He said 466 people were hospitalized on April 16. As of May 12, that number has declined to 262, he said.
Ambulances responded to approximately 80 Covid-19 related calls per day. Now that has dropped to eight.
“We’re still seeing on average two fatalities on scene every single day,” said fire chief Brian McDermott. Many of the dead on arrivals (DOAs) are suspected to be tied to Covid-19. “Please check on your seniors. We’re seeing that silent hypoxia. Their oxygen saturation rate is low, and they don’t know that they are dying.”
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