NEWARK — Newark is now testing residents with insurance by appointment only outside the roller rink in Branch Brook Park. When the site opened Wednesday, over 200 residents drove or walked up to be tested.
“This is one of many testing sites we are going to set up in the city,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
There are now 122 public and private testing locations in New Jersey. The site at Branch Brook Park will be open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Newark has also started testing the uninsured homeless population and they’re going through senior buildings to test residents.
“We’re trying to do the most vulnerable population,” said Baraka. “So they don’t have to drive up or walk up.”
Newark has trained over 200 contact tracers within the city police department, health department and with help from Rutgers University, to trace and quarantine anyone exposed.
Baraka is calling for the federal government to send funds directly to cities like Newark, to enable them to test more residents.
Funds from the CARES Act funds was routed to counties.
The mayor also echoed calls for President Trump to employ the Defense Production Act to produce tests mass amounts of affordable tests for cities — so municipalities like Newark could avoid going to the open market to buy tests, which can cost between $100-$150 each.