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Township Coronavirus Testing Program Growing In Popularity


The township-sponsored COVID-19 testing program held at houses of worship is on track to test nearly 1,200 people in its first two days.

About 545 people were tested on July 27 at St. Matthias Church, and 600 people have registered for the July 31 testing at the former Consolata Missionaries property on Route 27.

COVID-19 and antibody testing will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While pre-registration is encouraged, township officials have said that walk-ins are accepted for the free testing program.

To register, click here. For more information on the program, email abcovidtesting@gmail.com.

In fact, Alex Kharazi, whose Franklin Township Interfaith Council is arranging the houses of worship testing sites, said 500 people registered for the first day, but there were also about 45 walk-ins.

In addition to the Interfaith Council, the township is partnering with Mercy International Nurses’ Association, Interfaith Urgent Care and the office of Gov. Phil Murphy to deliver the tests.

Those involved in the program talked about its early success at a special virtual town hall held on July 30.

“It’s time to get tested, everyone,” Mayor Phil Kramer said. He said people who got antibody tests were getting their results back, and so far about 61 of the 511 antibody tests came back positive.

Results of teh COVID-19 tests are expected on July 31, Kramer said.

“The question I keep getting is, I’m asymptomatic, no one I know has symptoms, should I still get tested,” he said. “Unless you’re in a cave with nobody else there and not getting any Amazon packages, you’re still at risk.”

“Forty percent of people are asymptomatic,” Kramer said. “Please everyone get tested. We’re out there doing it, your clergy’s out there doing it, now its up to you.”

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen agreed with the mayor about the need for testing.

“You can not say that you’re feeling fine and that you may not have the virus,” he said. “You may not know. It’s most important for people who are perfectly healthy, who have no symptoms … who think if they stay home they have nothing to worry about. You are exactly the type of person who needs to get tested. Probably, you should get tested on a regular basis.”

“You can be a hero without leaving your home, simply by going out and getting tested,” Danielsen said.

Kharazi said the people who were tested on teh first day ranged in age from 2 to 94 years old.

There are still a number of testing days and sites throughout the township.

  • Aug 1 and 2: noon to 6 p.m.: First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset St.
  • Aug 4: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Kendall Park Baptist Church, 3583 Route 27, Franklin Park.
  • Aug 5: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: The Jain Center of New Jersey, 111 Cedar Grove Lane.
  • Aug 7: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Middlebush Reformed Church, 1 South Middlebush Rd.
  • Aug. 13: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, 508 Elizabeth Ave.
  • Aug. 15: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Ananda Mandir, 269 Cedar Grove Lane.

Kharazi said more houses of worship are expressing interest in participating.

“This is extremely important for everyone to come and get tested,” he said.

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