Fulop Changes COVID-19 Testing Labs Due to Slow Response


Mayor Fulop Changes COVID-19 Testing Labs After Continued Slow Response Times

Jersey City was Previously Using BioReference which was the State of NJ’s Primary Testing Lab; New Partnership gives Residents Faster & Efficient Nasal Swab Testing Results in 48-72 Hours


JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced today the start of a new partnership to give residents and employees faster COVID-19 testing results, which is especially critical to avoid unintended contagion. As labs nationwide face delays due to demand, Jersey City is transitioning to Rapid Reliable Testing to improve response times using a new method allowing residents to directly obtain results on their own within 48 hours via patient portal.

The turnaround time for COVID Nasal Swab testing results is significantly faster than national and state averages, which often exceeds 10 days. Delayed testing results remain a serious impediment nationwide, and the severity becomes dire as results take longer and longer, restricting employees from going back to work and alarmingly increasing the potential for spreading the virus among households and the public at large.

“Faster turnaround times are imperative to the health and safety of our entire community in order for anyone infected to make vital medical decisions that can protect their family and others from infection,” said Mayor Fulop. “We were the first in the state to introduce city-run testing sites, and we’ve remained at the forefront when it comes to testing which, absent a vaccine, is one of the few proven effective ways to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Complacency is not an option in a city like ours, and we are constantly evolving and enhancing our safety measures to keep Jersey City safe.”

This new method has additional options for support via phone and text messages to help those who are not computer savvy. Jersey City employees successfully piloted with Rapid Reliable Testing for the past three weeks to ensure efficiency and results within 48 to 72 hours.

“After working with other labs and experiencing delays, we began piloting a new lab to get quicker results,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of Health and Human Services. “The new system’s patient portal is easier to use as it is text and computer compatible. The more user friendly we can make it, the more people will want to get tested, the more we can monitor our population and maintain low transmission rates.”

Since March, Jersey City has issued over 50,000 free nasal and antibody tests for people who live and work here. The city continues to expand testing in every corner of the city with several new partnerships to increase testing efforts, as well as mobilized testing sites at all senior and public housing sites as part of an effort to reach more residents and increase demand. The city has also been offering testing and supplies to help business and restaurant owners reopen faster and remain in compliance with COVID-19 mandates.

Testing at the Marin Boulevard walk-up site remains free for everyone, whether insured or uninsured. The location and times will also remain the same: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment necessary.

Rapid Reliable Testing will transition into the new role as of today, August 25, 2020. All test results can be obtained through their patient portal:

  1. GO TO mako.luminatehealth.com or TEXT “Mako” to 66349
    2. CLICK Sign Up
    3. FOLLOW the directions on the patient portal to get access to your results