As second wave rises, Trenton offering free walk-up coronavirus testing

As the second wave of COVID-19 cases continues to spread across New Jersey, the city…

As the second wave of COVID-19 cases continues to spread across New Jersey, the city of Trenton will offer free testing in the East Ward this week, the city announced.

The walk-up, no appointment testing is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Unity Square Park (formerly Columbus Park) on Hamilton Avenue at Division Street. The tests will be administered on a first come, first serve basis.

At the start of last week, Trenton’s infection rate had reached 60.6 cases per 100,000 people, which exceeds both the state and county rates at 35.6 and 36.2, respectively. To date, Trenton has had a total of 5,003 COVID-19 cases with 80 related deaths. Mayor Reed Gusciora said in a statement.

Young adults under the age of 30 make up 30% of hospital visits related to COVID-19, and the Latino community has been especially hard-hit, currently comprising 42% of hospital admissions and 51% of emergency room visits over the past 30 days, the mayor said.

“The area around Unity Square Park includes some of our hardest hit neighborhoods, and we want to make sure our residents have access to the testing they need to mitigate the spread of the virus to their friends and family, especially now that the holiday season is upon us,” Gusciora said.

Moreover, Trenton Health Team Executive Director Gregory Paulson said last week that Trenton is in the midst of an active outbreak. “Things must change now,” he said.

“If we don’t get a handle on this now, we will be at crisis level,” Paulson said in a statement.

The city will not charge for testing, but residents that have health insurance should bring their insurance cards. Also, residents must also provide identification to verify Trenton residency.

In addition to the Trenton testing, Mercer County is hosting free testing sessions on Tuesday Nov. 24 and Tuesday Dec. 1 at the at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, off South Broad Street. The saliva tests will be available to county residents over the age of 14 and anyone who is employed as a first responder or health care worker in the county.

Other testing sites throughout the Trenton area can be found on the Trenton Health Team website, and Mercer County also offers an at-home saliva test for COVID-19, which can be requested by visiting www.mercercares.org.

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Kevin Shea may be reached at [email protected].

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