CITY OF PATERSON CHOSEN FOR RAPID TESTING FOR THE HOMELESS PILOT PROGRAM
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) in collaboration with the Paterson Division of Health and the Passaic County Department of Health have conducted a rapid testing pilot program, Point of Care for the Homeless. The Point of Care test provides test results within 15 minutes and was conducted at Eva’s Village on Wednesday, July 22.
The City of Paterson, chosen due to the large homeless community within the city, as well as the strong public health infrastructure that is in place, namely the robust COVID-19 contact-tracing efforts, was the first city in the region to have been a part of pilot program testing.
Persons experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to contacting COVID-19, the pilot program conducted by NJDOH will explore how to implement a statewide strategy on testing for the homeless population. The learning from the pilot will inform the statewide strategy for testing persons experiencing homelessness. NJDOH has focused its initial phase 1 pilot stage efforts on regions that experience a high burden of homelessness and prevalence of COVID-19 but also have the infrastructure to serve the homeless and strong local public health leadership in place to support the testing and connecting individuals to facilities if needed.
“The City of 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.”
Twenty-three individuals were tested with negative results during the pilot program.