Wednesday, December 16, 2020
As we experience the second surge of COVID-19 virus activity throughout the state and country, Atlantic County government is partnering with AtlantiCare to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing throughout the county over the next six months with nearly $1.6 million in federal Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity-Enhancing Detection (ELC) grant funding.
According to County Executive Dennis Levinson, in addition to the county’s weekly drive-thru testing in Northfield, residents will now have access to testing seven days a week with the use of AtlantiCare’s staffing and facilities.
The expanded testing will target symptomatic individuals and contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals as well as those at highest risk, including frontline healthcare workers in hospitals, group homes, long-term care facilities and outpatient settings; first responders; social service workers in group homes, homeless shelters and congregate settings, and those living in group homes and congregate settings; transportation personnel; food service workers; childcare and summer camp workers; and staff of correctional facilities. Additionally, some asymptomatic individuals may be recommended for testing by federal, state or local health officials or agencies.
“Anyone is susceptible to COVID-19 but members of these targeted populations face the greatest risk of exposure,” stated Levinson. “With the resurgence of cases, our goal is to quickly identify COVID-19 cases, quarantine those exposed and mitigate community spread.”
County residents who are members of these groups and are seeking testing for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure may call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-285-2684, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As a criteria of the funding, insurance information must be obtained from those who have coverage. The patient’s insurance provider will be charged for the visit and test, but the patient will not be responsible for any out-of-pocket copays.
Those without insurance will not be turned away. They will be covered by the funding. They should also call the AtlantiCare Access Center for further assistance.
Test results will be provided to the patient by the physician who orders the test.
The AtlantiCare testing facilities will include its five Urgent Care Centers with locations in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway, Hammonton and Somers Point as well as its designated COVID-19 testing center in Egg Harbor Township.
“AtlantiCare has been an invaluable partner. We are extremely grateful for its willingness to help us expand our testing capabilities so that as many residents as desire can have easy and timely access to testing,” Levinson added.