Twenty-three homeless people were tested for Covid-19 at the Eva’s Village parking lot on Wednesday.
All 23 people, tested using the rapid test produced by Abbott Laboratories, were negative for the new coronavirus.
Specimens were processed using two ID Now machines at the Medical Mobile Unit run by the Paterson Division of Health. The ID Now machine produces a negative or positive result within 15 minutes.
“Paterson has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and it is our priority to make sure that everyone gets tested,” said mayor Andre Sayegh. “We are elated that the New Jersey Department of Health has chosen Paterson as it first location for the pilot program. With every test conducted and with the work of our contact tracing team we are closer to becoming a COVID free city.”
Paterson was picked for the pilot initiative by the New Jersey Department of Health because of its large homeless population.
“Testing the homeless population, giving test results and isolating these individuals can be very challenging. Giving a test result in 15 minutes definitely minimizes some of those challenges,” said health officer Paul Persaud. “It is no coincidence why the State Health Department partnered with Paterson’s Health Department for this first pilot. Our nationally renowned communicable disease strike team was out in full force to make this project a resounding success. Mayor Sayegh was very instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.”
Had any of the 23 tested positive, they would have been taken to a quarantine facility.
Findings from the pilot will inform a statewide strategy to test homeless people to halt the spread of the virus.
Email: [email protected]
Updated 10:25 p.m.