Monmouth County residents who fear having a swap stuck deep inside their nasal cavity as much as they fear the diagnosis of COVID-19 now have an alternative.
The Visting Nursing Service of Central Jersey Community Health Center is administering the recently approved saliva test, which was developed at Rutgers, at their Asbury Park location this week. The test will be available at their Freehold, Keyport and Red Bank locations next week.
In addition to being more comfortable for patients, the saliva test are much safer for healthcare workers to administer and they require less use of scarce PPE.
“Saliva tests are less intrusive than the deep nasal swab that have been widely used since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. They are safer for health care workers administering the procedure and they require less personal protective equipment than the deep nasal swab,” said Christopher Rinn, CEO of the Health Center. “The saliva is simply collected in a tube with an RNA preservative solution.”
The tests are available to new and existing patients of the Health Center. Patients with symptoms or who fear that they have been exposed can schedule an appointment by calling 732-774-6333 or contact the team through their website at vnachc.org/contact-us/
“As testing expands across the state, it is vital that we prioritize vulnerable populations such as those served by New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli, the woman who needs no introduction.
Dr. Andrew Brooks, Professor of Genetics at Rutgers stated “The continued expansion and repeat testing using a saliva-based approach in the community will have a tremendous impact on making sure New Jersey is prepared to resume normal day activities.” Brooks is the scientist who developed the test.
“We are thrilled to provide this important service to our patients throughout Monmouth County and to support Governor Murphy’s efforts to make testing more available so that we can reopen our New Jersey businesses and public spaces,” Rinn said. “We are proud that VNACJ is the first Federally Qualified Health Center in New Jersey, if not the nation, to provide these tests and we are grateful to our partners RUCD Rand Accurate Diagnostic Labs for their support of the communities we serve.”